The Italy Effect

I spent some time in Italy and I have to say that it has profoundly affected me and my art. There I saw work by the Great Masters. Titian, Rafael, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Botticelli, etc. When I looked at a Bernini sculpture I saw a physical form perfected into timeless art. I never understood why the David was so talked about until I actually saw it for my self. The David had a resonance of perfection about it like a perfectly tuned instrument or more like a master work symphony. I lived in Rome for a brief time and I loved the narrow, dark streets, the ancient buildings from many ages of man. I loved the “SPQR” man holes. Everywhere about me was art, history and culture. However, even more profound was the effect Venice had on me. Never have I seen such a beautiful imperfection of a city. It has the fragility and vanity of a jewel, yet the timelessness of a stone monument. The thing about Venice isn’t one particular church, palace or work of art; its the city itself that is the work of art. Everything about it, the crumbling buildings, the flowers hanging from window ledges, the smell and sound of the canals and the unfiltered beauty of the architecture. At once Venice is joyful and morbid. It has a strange mixture of love of life and preoccupation with death. Life is good and art and food must be enjoyed, but they know that it is all fleeting. The city itself is slowly dying. Every year there are less and less people and the city sinks lower and lower into the lagoon. Its the most beautiful city on earth and also the most fragile. One day it will be gone and they know this. It’s hard for me to describe exactly what Venice is. It’s gloomy, glorious, melancholy, joyful, frivolous and stern all at the same time. I’ve never fallen in love with a place like I had Venice. My heart is attached there and consequentially, so is my art.

Me chillin' in Venezia

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~ by Minimum Wage Historian on March 28, 2011.

6 Responses to “The Italy Effect”

  1. Beautiful! Venice really is both joyful and morbid, frivolous and stern!

    I loved it, too, but my heart…ah, my heart…it is in Naples. I would live and die in Naples.

    We could take the train and meet at the David for lunch :^p

    • Ha! Naples! Great pizza and Pompeii is just a short train ride away. Crowded, confusing place, but it has its own charms! Deal. If I move to Venice and you move to Naples, we’ll do lunch!

  2. Sounds awesome 🙂 And it’s funny, part of my draw to Naples is similar to part of yours to Venice: the ever-presence of Vesuvius! It’s a constant caution, an overlord…a little less sure than the sinking of Venice, but still… 🙂

  3. And both were their own powerful governments for a while with unique histories. Vesuvius is pretty dang imposing though and both have the beauty of the sea.

  4. Ah yes, the sea 🙂 I think that when (not if!) we meet for lunch, you should venture south in a gondola, and I should paddle north in a small fishing boat. What is the internet equivalent to a “spit shake”?

  5. Florence and especially Naples is a long way to paddle in a gondola. I don’t know about a spit shake, but a promise here is public!

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