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Venice, second day

Posted by kernelbob on August 10, 2009

Basilica di Santa Maria.  The low white building on the right is the Guggenheim.

Basilica di Santa Maria. The low white building on the right is the Guggenheim.

Note: This post was written on Sunday night.

Today was Art Appreciation Day in Venice.  Anne and I went to the Guggenheim museum, visited the Basilica San Marco, and had dinner at Antica Locanda Montin, a restaurant where artists hang out.

Venice has the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.  Peggy was Solomon Guggenheim’s niece and she lived in a palace on the Grand Canal.  The palace is now a museum of modern art operated by the Guggenheim Foundation.  The collection is small but potent.  I’d estimate that today I saw the originals of 10% of the works in the 20th century chapters of my college art appreciation textbook.  Some artists’ names: Calder, Chagall, de Chirico, Dalí, Kandinsky, Klee, Magritte, Mondrian, Miró, Picasso, Pollock, Rothko.  She even had Alexander Calder make a headboard for her bed!

Anyway, I liked it.  No photos, unfortunately.

Basilica San Marco.  Exterior detail.

Basilica San Marco. Exterior detail.

Also no photos at San Marco.  We’ve recently been in St. Vitus’ in Prague and St. Stephan’s in Vienna, and seen the exterior of the cathedrals in Brno and Budapest.  San Marco has very different architecture than the traditional Gothic cathedrals.  For one thing, San Marco is almost all marble.  All kinds of colors and textures of marrble.  Frightfully ornate marble parquet on the floors.

The other difference is that San Marco shows strong Roman and Romanesque influences.  It has classical columns, and the vaulting is all circular/spherical, instead of the pointed arches of Gothic architecture.

One wall of the Antica

One wall of the Antica Locanda Montin

Anyway, after that we went back to the room and cooled off a bit, then headed off to dinner.  Anne found a restaurant where Peggy Guggenheim and her artist friends used to eat, as well as other, more recent celebrities.  So we went.  It was not crowded.  Dining was outside under some trees.  In the front, the walls were covered with pictures which various artists had made for the restaurant.  Some of the pictures were reproduced on the menus.

A tourist

A tourist

It was a lovely day.

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