Thursday 23 July 2009

Postcards from Venice

Titian Red
Venetian Sunset

Feast of the Redeemer -
La Festa del Redentore
Revellers on Giudecca Island
walk along Fondamenta San Giacomo
towards the church of "Il Redentore".

The church was commissioned
by Doge Alvise Mocenigo II
to give thanks and mark the day
when the city was declared free
of the plague that during the outbreak
of 1575 to 1577 had claimed 50,000 lives,
almost a third of La Serenessima's inhabitants.

Every year since that joyous day -
July 13, 1577 -
the city celebrates
the liberation
from that terrible disease
on the third Sunday in July.

Titian, born Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio,
then the leading painter of the Venetian school
of the Italian Renaissance,
was among the victims
of that not so serene period
in Venetian history:
He succumbed to the plague
on August 27, 1576.

Reading suggestion:
Ian Fenlon, "Ceremonial City.
History, Memory and Myth in Renaissance Venice"

New Haven/London: Yale University Press 2007
XV + 448 p.
ISBN 978-0-300-11937-4


Photographs and text
© by Merisi
July 19th, 2009


  1. I love the yellow lanterns! Thank you for the history lesson too!

  2. Another book to add to my ever growing venezia collection.....

  3. Fascinating! Imagine that many people succumbing. Wow. Beautiful images--I love that red.

  4. Great post! I didn't know that they had a day celebrating the end of plague. I wonder if anyone attempted a jaunt to Poveglia island that day...

    Can't wait to see more!

  5. Incredible images. I love the port-a-potties that match the building.

  6. Beautiful post Merisi and so I learn another new fact. After studying art history for what seemed like forever I never knew that Titian died of plague. It somehow brings the scourge of that dreaded disease the more terrible when someone you are so familiar with succumbed to it.

  7. Thanks for the reading suggestion! And I too was struck by the red port-a-potties!

  8. Merisi, thank you for each of the postcards you've sent from Venice. Each is a gem with not only beauty, but also a hint of a story about that incredible place.

    Your eye shows us how Venice in summer is quite different from Vienna. You are very generous with this gift to us.


  9. Thank you all so much for your kind comments and generous words! :-)

    Regarding the port-a-potties:
    Click on the image and check the little upside-down hearts. What do they look like? ;-)
    I shall publish another, closer image in one of my next posts. *smile*

    Titian was in his high eighties when the plague killed him. Had he been younger, his death would have been such a devastating loss to the world of art, we all would have heard of it. Due to his advanced years, the tragic circumstances of his death impacted the history of art less.

  10. so makes me want to take a trip NOW. i so love Venice.

  11. Merisi, thank you so much for the lovely comment you left me. You're so very fortunate to be able to visit places that are so rich in history and culture!

    You always take such wonderful photos! The red on the first building is so stunning and beautiful!


  12. I always start my morning visiting your site. It starts my day with a beautiful picture, an interesting thought, or an informative piece of history. Today was a jackpot! Happy Summer, Merisi!! :D

  13. Port o potties? Somehow I didn't think of those down your way.

  14. It must have been a terrible time. The building in the first pictureis so resplendant. Love the windows.

  15. Merisi, thanks for sharing these wonderful views of Venice.

  16. Beautiful, beautiful. I just love that first image!

  17. Oh my, you've outdone yourself yet again! That titian red photo just stopped my heart.

  18. Oooo, I'm lovin' that luscious orange!!

  19. The red colours and the history in Venice reminded me of the movie "Dangerous Beauty" that had been filmed in Venice...with Catherine McCormack and Rufus Sewell.

  20. wow, I was really struck by the coloring of the first (red) photo. An incredible shot! Have you considered submitting some of your shots for contests?


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