Posted by: jeanne | March 21, 2015

saturday with renee (part five)

i’ll have to look at the photos to figure out what we did with renee on saturday.

okay, now i remember.  i sent jim off with renee to visit museums, and i went with connor to do a shopping run.  jim left the map home, for some reason, and so didn’t go straight to the querini stampalia foundation, as he had planned, but instead wandered.  they ended up wandering to three museums, i found out later.  amazing.  i wouldn’t have been able for it.

the first thing he wandered into was the icon museum at the greek orthodox scuola of san giorgio, around the back of san zaccaria, sort of.

jim didn’t seem to take any pictures of the exhibit at the icon museum; perhaps because they don’t allow photos.  i remember being chastened the last time i was hanging out in the little campo and started snapping away.  the trouble is that jim’s camera makes noise, where i can just whip out my phone and take photos on the sly, usually.

but he did take this one photo (actually several) of the inner courtyard at the icon museum.  nice.  he’s definitely planning to take me back thru there, so i can take photos of the icons themselves.  renee was so uninterested in icons that she flew thru the place and waited in the lobby while jim jerked himself away from painting after painting in order to catch up with her.


palazzo grimani was next, apparently.  i’ll have to check with jim for some of these identifications.

anyway, the guy with the eagle.  there’s a story attached to him, kind of like the wires dangling him from the ceiling.  so this guy was falling thru the air, and this eagle swoops up and rescues him from his fall, only to have his wicked way with the guy.  then he let him go and he fell to earth.  his buddies picked him up and dusted him off, set his broken limbs, gave him a guinness, and only later on asked him if it hurt.  hurt? your man says, the damned eagle never called or wrote; of course it hurt.

the whole room had blank niches around the walls.  napoleon and his guys took them all, at least 120 of them, and your man and the eagle is the only one that’s come home to roost.  damned thieves.


ah yes, renee could only manage to see three museums in one day by doing a lot of sitting.  good girl, renee.  when we were last there, the piano nobile was full of hiroshige prints, but it has since moved on, and the whole floor was dark when jim and renee were there.


painted friezes, i’m pretty sure.  these were painted at the floor line of many of the rooms – at least three – originally all over, but only a few rooms still had them.  apparently they just crumbled off the wall at some point.


lovely carved head; don’t know why he took it.  he fell in love with it, that’s why.


what’s bosch doing in venice?  here’s the answer:  these four paintings would normally be in the case where he took teh picture, but the card in the case said they were at the getty in california for restoration and exhibition.


i’ve taken this shot several times, and can almost tell you where it is.  but not.


it’s funny.  if i didn’t know this came off jim’s camera on the date, i would have sworn i took this picture.  we’re of one mind when it comes to old, crumbling stuff we find interesting.


now he’s in the querini stampalia, and has neglected to take any photos of anything except another madonna and child.  i’ll ask jim why he chose this one to photograph.  it was one of the two nicest paintings in the museum, he said, so i guess i don’t need to see the others… he says it’s mainly doges, who are without exception sour and evil looking, and not always very well painted.


i particularly like the painting below.  i love the way she’s just toying with the guy.  judith and holofernes, a subject he’s painted before, only with me as judith and him as the head.


for some reason, jim likes to look far more than he likes to document, and so there are practically no photos from the querini stampalia palazzo, which is too bad.  i’ll probably might have to go back with francis.  the collection is particularly rich, here.  but he did take a picture of this lovely mirror, which is enormous, and there are two of them.  the murano glass makers had the secret of mirrors from way back, which was so important that they were not allowed to leave venice.


here’s renee (in red) looking over the beautiful and perplexing canals.  this one is particularly complex, and i’m thinking i know exactly where they are, which is just the next campo to santa maria formosa, which we only found last week.  we’ll be painting it, both of us, real soon now.


somehow they got down around the back of san marco, with the bridge of sighs seen from inland (so to speak), off in the distance there.  usually it is seen from the riva next to the doge’s palace.


jim was mightily impressed by this enormous egg.  must have been two feet tall.  some lucky kid’s going to have quite the belly ache.


here’s jim as a documentarian of things, rather than a minder of renee, who you can just see the top of her head.  but aren’t those arches spectacular?


okay, that’s pretty much all jim took with the big camera while they were out for 5 or 6 hours.  i, on the other hand, took twice as many just of connor and i on a shopping trip.  we needed to get more molasses, and some more brown rice.  and these are things you just can’t get in venice, so i had to go to the organic store around the back and down a hidden alley from the staircase of the bovolo, which i have documented before.  this time, we went right past its little alley because tourists.


connor was being good, and stayed in his carriage while we were on the vaporetto, sort of.


we passed san marco and i noticed that they are beginning to take the scaffolding down, which is great, because we’ll be able to get a full set of photos before we leave.  but i also want to use the scaffolding in my ‘dead tourists in venice’ series of paintings, so i was anxious to get as many good shots of it as i could.


we got off at sant’angelo, but here’s connor standing on the seat of his carriage at san marco, pointing at something.  i have to watch him like a hawk on the vaporetto.  the other day jim and renee had him up in the seats up front, and he kept trying to get to one of the outside seats, where all that separates him from the lagoon is a single rail, which he could easily fidget himself right thru, and then there’d be hell to pay getting him back, because he’d be caught up in the wake and pulled under.  it’s a nightmarish thought that i have often at three in the morning.


this is his favorite lion, in campo manin, near the bovolo.  he gets on its back, leans over and strokes its fur, talks to the other kids about it.  in fact, he’s getting so good with his english (more’s the pity, for the kids don’t understand him) that he now goes up to people and says, ‘hi, i connor. what’s your name is? i pree (years old).’


i’m pretty sure this is a wolf dog.  connor wanted to play with him, but i wasn’t having any of it.  when we saw him playing with the little dog (a german shepherd mix), he stood as high as a man.


trying to find the store that had brown rice was a little bit difficult, as i don’t know where it is, and it doesn’t show up on the map app, so i had to go back to this lovely place, which i have painted, and work from there.  i finally found it, tho, but they didn’t have any brown rice left.  luckily the organic store had more than enough.


and then i don’t remember how we ended up at san marco again, but connor was more than happy to join this little boy in chasing pigeons while i got more photos of the scaffolding.


and then it was back into the vaporetto to go to lido to get something for dinner, since i had neglected to get anything at the supermarket, the name of which i can’t remember, and the location of which i can’t find.  again.

and while we were on the vaporetto, i spotted several kayakers out on the giudecca canal.  it shouldn’t be allowed; most of them aren’t real kayakers, but eager inexperienced tourists unwilling to pay for a gondola ride.  it’s dangerous, and they’re going to get killed.  they’ve passed a new regulation banning them from the grand canal and others, but now that means they’re out on the big canals where boats go fast.  i believe that stupidity is self limiting; we’ll see.


we got lamb at the conad on lido, because it’s in season all of a sudden, and stopped to look at the baby fish behind the vaporetto stop at lido.  they are bigger, but there are much fewer of them.  connor loves to look at them.


and i love to look at the color of the water.  i was hoping my camera would capture it; it seems to do a better job than jim’s…


lastly, we found this mouse playing with a cat.  it’s the cat who wanders around in our back yard, and apparently everywhere else.  this time she was down by the vaporetto stop, and the mouse would run for a moment, and then stop to clean its ears or something.  you can just see him in the foreground.  he may still be alive; the cat didn’t look too serious about having him for lunch.

anyway, everybody was exhausted by the time we all got home, so everyone but jim had a nap, and he finished a painting after walking around with renee for an afternoon.  where does he get the stamina?


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