|As one strolls around Venice it is easy to imagine that one is experiencing the soul of a great city emanating from it myriad details, its many Baroque decorations that speak volumes of its brilliant past. It is a place where the aware and curious person will notice an overwhelming number of artistic and historic reminders that blend marvelously well with a vibrant present.
Statues of the winged Lion of Venice--also known as Saint Mark' s Lion--can be found throughout the city. These representations of the symbol of Venice are found on buildings, on pedestals or flying in paintings. Then there is the cornerstone of a building with sculpted figures representing the Emperor Diocletian embracing colleagues to symbolize the unity of ancient Rome. Further on, a large bas-relief of Venice's patron, Saint George slaying a dragon is suggestive of what will happen to any potential adversary of the Maritime Republic.
Mounted high on a wall and lighting your way down a narrow alley is a fanciful metal vulture holding in his beak a light shade that appears to be made of three intertwined brightly colored glass umbrellas. In Saint Mark's Cathedral there is the triumphal quadriga of horses, four life-size bronze steeds so famous that they have been loaned for temporary exhibition to major museums worldwide. There are paintings of Byzantine Madonna's with staring eyes, a golden sea horse functioning as an oarlock on a gondola, the bright red ribbon on the gondoliers straw hats.
Every doorway, window frame and balcony on every grand palace is covered with a mix of decorative details that shouldn't live harmoniously with each other, but somehow do.There is so much more. Imagine all this against the backdrop of today's Venice with its changing light patterns and you will have glimpsed the soul of a great city.
Click on the above photo to begin slide show of Venice's soul expressed in its details as photographed by :
Henri & Ghislane Fourreau
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