Posted by: jeanne | March 19, 2015

visits with renee, part three

on thursday morning we were up and out to see the accademia, which was wonderful, and before i move on, here are a few photos of all the wonderful things to be seen there.

but before i get to that, renee is a sucker for selfies with gondoliers, so here’s one for her.


i guess i wasn’t much in the mood for art galleries that day.  i focused mainly on the details, like this guy with an incongruous cannister vaccuum cleaner at his feet.  otherwise it was your typical renaissance painting, glorious as they all are.


i had a good gander at this larger than life crucifix in the middle of the room.  this part is miniature, but the whole thing goes on for ten feet, and was made to be carried in processions.  renee saw it too, of course, and remarked that it was lovely, but the irish had been doing the same thing for centuries prior to this.


actually, i got more out of taking pictures of renee than i did the art on the first floor, which was mainly icons and early renaissance stuff.


but then we got to the second floor, and all the really good stuff, which i sat up and noticed.  renee and myself did pay special attention to the construction of the paintings, tho, like the one above which was painted on a series of wooden panels that you can see as horizontal lines where they are joined


but renee was still mighty impressed by the details of the paintings, like this yoke above.  when you looked at the details, below, i was almost reminded of late rembrandt and his thicker than life brushwork.


this detail of another painting got me, the way the angels are lined up waiting to come down and pay tribute to apparently another madonna and child.  honestly, the accademia has more madonnas and children than i care to see again.


but there was this, veronese‘s pentultimate supper, taking up an entire wall of the building.  it was marvelous.


and it had this nice little detail of a dog and his interaction with the cat under the table, stealing the bone the dog wants.  classy.


in the next room was a series of frescoes stuck onto curved mounts, just the way they would have been in whatever church they came from.  they looked like modern art to me…


you can just see renee having a wee rest at the end of the room, looking at that round painting the size of a large trampoline.  we couldn’t really figure out where the canvas was joined to make such a large surface, or how the painter actually executed the painting.  it probably wasn’t laid flat on the floor.


this room had mainly virgins and their children, and it got old fast.  but there were some lovely sculptures lining both sides of an altarlike thing.  the whole room stretched the width (or length) of the building, and is probably the largest room in the place.


both renee and i liked this painting.  it’s a detail, really, but i thought it was well worth looking at up close.


then there was a whole room of somebody’s paintings of venice.  unfortunately i don’t remember the painter, but i’m sure either jim or renee does; maybe i’ll ask them and edit this annotation.  they’re very large, and it was very difficult to get a decent photograph of.  renee asked about the circular chimney pots, and i told her they are still everywhere in venice, and she’d probably notice them after this.


this is one of the venice paintings, with people swimming in the canal.  i will probably use them as templates for one of my ‘dead tourists in venice’ paintings that i plan to do when i get home.


renee’s favorite room in the accademia – shared by ruskin – was the room devoted to the saint ursula cycle by carpaccio.  it’s about saint ursula, who was martyred along with 10,000 virgins, which sounds like an urban legend to me.  ten, maybe.


the room, tho it doesn’t look very impressive in this shot, was designed by the noted architect carlo scarpa in the ’60s.


as usual, i’m as interested in teh architecture as i am in the art, so here’s the entrance hall and stairs at the accademia.


the accademia happens to be right around the corner from the cafe i’m currently painting, so we stopped there for a coffee, but were appalled at the prices, and walked right back out after i got a few interior pictures.

SONY DSC a print by somebody else, but very like something jim would do

we stopped instead in the bar down the street, a real hole in the wall that i much preferred to the picturesque but stuffy cafe.  it filled right up for lunch, too, right after we got there.  we had a lovely sandwich of probably spinach and cheese, and two more caffe lattes.


and then we wandered to the peggy guggenheim museum and went in.  another place i hadn’t gone and wouldn’t have gone if it weren’t for renee.

SONY DSC see, chimney pots everywhere

renee kindly sat in the sun, waiting for me to get done trying to photograph white canvases.


funny, i’m not a fan of modern art.  but i knew more about it than ever i knew about renaissance art, and knew more of the names and even the individual paintings.  plus, it’s got the original empire of lights, which is my favorite painting of all time.


in the middle of looking at all the paintings, renee came up and announced that she’d left her bag with all her postcards in the bar, so i rushed back and retrieved it.


i came back with the bag, and then noticed a print from the guy who taught jim etching in paris – stanley hayter.


and then we ran out of steam, and interest with most of the post-war things.  even my camera became fatigued – some of the paintings were so flat that the camera couldn’t focus on them and refused to actually take the pictures.


so we made our way to the vaporetto at the salute, and stumbled upon the guy who played the lute.  i bought both his cds – one of him on lute, and one of his group on various instruments.  it made his day, and he packed up and joined us at the vaporetto stop.

SONY DSC another shot of renee with the gondliers

on the way home, i had to sit and watch these drunks arguing and accosting other passengers.  renee was in the back, sitting down, so she didn’t witness this.  the vaporetto guy did, and did nothing.  i guess they can’t be any worse than tourists, huh…


we had a nap when we got back, and woke up just in time to go out again, this time to the indian music concert by Vishwa Mohan Bhatt at the cini foundation on san giorgio maggiore.


tho we got there early, it only got us a place in line, as they didn’t open the gates until well after sunset, about fifteen minutes before the concert was due to start (late, of course).


connor did his usual thing that he does on giorgio maggiore, which is run along the high water boards, shrieking.


evidently the drummer and sitar player live here and teach indian music, but the led guy has been all over and played with the likes of ry cooder and bella fleck, and his instrument was a pimped out guitar, looking like an indian instrument, with a bell shaped thing the function of which i am unsure.


he played it with brass fingernails and a slide, and played it the indian way.  it was awesome.  in the beginning of this concert we had some major trouble with connor, who wanted to squiggle and struggle and talk and cry and act up in general, so i took him halfway to the vaporetto stop before he decided he wanted to behave, and so we stood at the back of the room for a long time, listening, and then when the audience mistook a pause for a break and clapped, we slipped back into our seats and finished the concert.


they did an encore, however, and we slipped out before the crowd and beat jim and renee home by half an hour, which was good, because it was close to ten and we still hadn’t eaten dinner.



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