A Wanderer in Venice eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 371 pages of information about A Wanderer in Venice.
to the custodian this lady was the painter’s innamorata, and he set her in both places as a reward for her varying moods.  The other pictures represent the capture of Zara by Marco Giustiniani in 1346.  Zara, I may mention, had very badly the habit of capture:  this was the eighth time it had fallen.  Tintoretto is the painter, and it is one of his best historical works.  The great sea-fight picture on the right wall represents another battle of Lepanto, a later engagement than Venier’s; the painter is Andrea Vicentino, who has depicted himself as the figure in the water; while in another naval battle scene, in the Dardanelles, the painter, Pietro Liberi, is the fat naked slave with a poniard.  For the rest the guide-book should be consulted.  The balcony of the room, which juts over the Piazzetta, is rarely accessible; but if it is open one should tarry there for the fine view of Sansovino’s Old Library.

The second set of showrooms (which require the expenditure of another lira)—­the oldest rooms in the palace—­constitute the Archaeological Museum.  Here one sees a few pictures, a few articles of vertu, some sumptuous apartments, some rich ceilings, and a wilderness of ancient sculpture.  The first room shown, the Sala degli Scarlatti, is the bedroom of the Doges, with a massive and rather fine chimney piece and an ornate ceiling.  The next room, the Sala dello Scudo, has a fine decorative, if inaccurate, map of the world, made by a monk in the fifteenth century.  The next, the Sala Grimani, has rival lions of S. Mark by Jacobello del Fiore, an early Venetian painter, in 1415, and Carpaccio a century later.  Jacopo’s lion has a very human face; Carpaccio’s picture is finer and is also interesting for its architectural details.  The next room, the Sala Erizzo, has a very splendid ceiling.  The next is not remarkable, and then we come on the right to the Sala dei Filosofi where the custodian displays, at the foot of the staircase, the charming fresco of S. Christopher which Titian made for Doge Andrea Gritti.  It is a very pleasing rendering, and the Christ Child never rode more gaily or trustfully on the friendly saint.  With true patriotism Titian has placed the incident in a shallow of the lagoon and the Doges’ Palace is seen in the distance.

Then follow three rooms in the Doges’ suite in which a variety of treasures are preserved, too numerous and heterogeneous for description.

[Illustration:  S. CHRISTOPHER FROM THE FRESCO BY TITIAN In the Doges’ Palace]

The antique section of the Archaeological Museum is not of general interest.  It consists chiefly of Greek and Roman sculpture collected by Cardinal Grimani or dug from time to time from the soil of Venetian provinces.  Here are a few beautiful or precious relics and much that is indifferent.  In the absence of a Hermaphrodite, the most popular possession is (as ever) a group of Leda and the Swan.  I noted among the more attractive pieces a Roman altar with lovers (Baedeker calls them satyrs), No. 68; a Livia in black marble, No. 102; a nice girl, Giulia Mammea, No. 142; a boy, very like a Venetian boy of to-day, No. 145; a giant Minerva, No. 169; a Venus, No. 174; an Apollo, No. 223.  A very beautiful Pieta by Giovanni Bellini, painted under the influence of Duerer, should be sought and found.

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A Wanderer in Venice from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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