Tuesday, September 25, 2012

On Venice...

Picture I took at Sunset over one of the canals

I don't know if it's the magic of Venice itself or just what my trip there represented to me, but I often find myself wishing I could go back.  Right now is definitely one of those times.  As I look out at the stark Arizona landscape, I like to imagine it turning into the faraway canals that glitter in the sun, while the tan stucco houses transform into the gorgeous decaying palazzos of Venezia.  The history, the romance, the tourists?  Ok so Venice isn't perfect but it's hard not to be drawn into it.  Which is why now, over a year later, I am still reading books set in that beautiful place.  Right now it's The Glassblower of Murano by Marina Fiorato.  I want to share a passage from this book because I feel like the character's first visit to Venice so clearly mimics my own.

"But those she charged with her ill-preparedness were the artists, the writers.
Canaletto, why did you not adequately depict this place?  Why were you, in all your mastery, not able to describe this to me?  Why did you merely sketch, not capture the details of this beauty?  Turner, why couldn't you capture the sun bleeding into the lagoon as I see it now?  Henry James, why did you not prepare me for this?  Evelyn Waugh, your passages of praise were faint insults when faced with the real thing.  Thomas Mann, why leave so much out?  Nicholas Roeg, even with your cameras and your celluloid, why could you not tell me either?"

I thought this was perfect, especially since I prepared for my trip with the rest of my class by reading, painting and learning as much as I could about the city before visiting.  Nothing can capture the city's beauty. As the books says, "even the decay is beautiful."
One of the watercolors I painted of the Redentore church while sitting on the canal

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