I have been overwhelmed with the interest by fellow painters in my recently published book ‘Painting Venice’ and thought it may be helpful to give a Venice news update for the en plein air artist! Just back from two more glorious weeks painting in Venice (Sept and Oct 2015) here are a few observations which may be of interest to any artists planning to set off for this remarkable place.
First of all Venice looks as stunning as ever. The Biennale is in full flight and there are fascinating and unusual sculptures and installations scattered about everywhere. Many of these are held in historic buildings (often with free admission) which aren’t generally open so it is a great opportunity to visit some exciting venues and explore the possibility of new painting opportunities.
Once again we travelled down the Grand Canal past the Salute to see if, at last, the scaffolding had been removed from Palazzo Dario. This small stunningly beautiful palace with its marble encrusted façade is much loved by artists. But no, we were disappointed again as the building was still under wraps. However it is clear there is progress as the netting around the building is now fairly flimsy and transparent and you can see most of the façade. You may be able to make a picture of it! It is going to look sensational when it is complete. I just can’t wait!
Around the Rialto was a disaster for the painter! One side of the bridge is covered in restoration cladding and the lovely Palazzo Camerlenghi, which is adjacent to the Rialto Bridge and often features in paintings, (See Pic 68 on page 65 of ‘Painting Venice’) has totally disappeared under the renovators shroud.
Sadly part of St Marks has been obliterated too. There is scaffolding around the stunning side which faces the Piazzetta San Marco (See Pic 23 on Page 28 of ‘Painting Venice’) but this does not extend across the whole front which faces onto St Mark’s Square.
It was a bit busier than usual in the wonderful hidden gem Campiello del Remer (See Page 38 ‘Painting Venice’) with unusually several parties of tourists lead by guides on the day we painted there. However it still is a terrific place for the artist to settle and thoroughly recommended. There is an historic Taverna hidden in a corner of the Campiello
And I must finish with news of an absolutely fabulous new ‘find’ which happens to be under cover. My guide book described the inner courtyard of the Casa Goldoni e Museo del Teatro as having an open staircase of ‘exquisite beauty’ so we had to investigate! The nearest Vaporetto stop is S. Toma and the Museum of Goldoni is just around the corner from the Campiello S. Toma. One has to pay to enter the museum but the staff were happy for us to paint there. The subject surpassed all expectations and with few interruptions, a coffee machine and loos it was a day of sheer bliss! Thoroughly recommended.
Do let me know how you get on painting in Venice.