Thursday, February 26, 2015

Shocking Schiaparelli - MEETINGS AT THE PALACE - Venice

Elsa Schiaparelli
(Venice, Italy) Elsa Schiaparelli, the cosmic fashion designer who created the color Shocking Pink, was born into an aristocratic, intellectual family in Palazzo Corsini in Rome in 1890 -- her great-uncle, Giovanni Schiaparelli, discovered the canals on Mars; her father was a professor of Oriental literature; her mother was descended from the Medicis. Elsa Schiaparelli - Fashion Artist was the topic of yesterday's inaugural conference of Incontri a Palazzo or "Meetings at the Palace," a series of lectures held in the piano nobile of Palazzo Mocenigo, Venice's Museum of Fabric and Costumes.

Miley Cyrus in Schiaparelli jumpsuit at Oscar parties Feb 22, 2015
Elsa Schiaparelli was a wild child. She liked to be called Schiap, not Elsa. Schiap ran away from home at the age of six and was found three days later marching at the front of a local parade. Criticized by her mother for her homely looks, she spent a lot of time with Uncle Giovanni, the astronomer, gazing at the nighttime sky through a telescope. In 1911, while at the University of Rome, Schiap published an mystical, overtly sensual poem, and her horrified parents sent her to a convent in Switzerland. Schiap went on a hunger strike and got out of the convent, then ran off to England and became a nanny. While attending a theosophical conference, she fell in love with the lecturer, Wilhelm Wendt de Kerlor, who claimed to be a Polish count, theosophist and spiritualist, whom she promptly married. They spent several seasons in Nice, then went to NewYork in 1916 on an ocean liner where Schiap became friends with Gabrielle Picabia, the wife of the avant-garde artist Francis Picabia, who would tug her into their circle of famous friends like Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp. 

Elsa Schiaparelli - Photo: Man Ray
The couple produced a daughter whom they called Gogo, who contracted polio. But Count de Kerlor turned out to be a con man and a womanizer, and when he had an affair with Isadora Duncan, Schiap asked for a divorce, and in 1922, took Gogo to Paris.

Schiaparelli trompe l'oeil Bow Tie Sweater
Schiap quickly became part of the Paris scene, encountering fashion icon Paul Poiret, who supported her fresh ideas. Schiap considered herself an artist who channeled her creative energies into fashion, and since she was touched by the cosmos, there was an element of other-worldliness to her designs. Her rise to fame was due to a simple hand-knitted black pullover with a white trompe l'oeil bow tie that Vogue declared a masterpiece and was a huge hit in the US.

Marlene Dietrich wearing Schiaparelli
According to Bio.com: "For Schiaparelli, fashion was as much about making art as it was about making clothes. In 1932, Janet Flanner of The New Yorker wrote: "A frock from Schiaparelli ranks like a modern canvas." Not surprisingly, Schiaparelli connected with popular artists of the era; one of her friends was painter Salvador Dali, whom she hired to design fabric for her fashion house."

Shocking de Schiaparelli Perfume
Schiap became a success on the Place Vendôme, counting Marlene Dietrich and Greta Garbo among her clientele. She invented culottes, the evening gown, the built-in bra and dared to expose zippers. In 1937 she launched a fragrance, "Shocking," its pink glass torso bottle based on Mae West's body. She began collaborating with the Surrealists, especially Salvador Dali, with whom she created a lobster dress which was worn by Wallis Simpson.

Wallis Simpson in Schiaparelli lobster dress
Schiap closed her business in 1954, and published her autobiography Shocking Life. She died in her sleep in Paris in 1973.

Kate Blanchett in Schiaparelli
In 2007,  Diego Della Valle, CEO and President of Tod's, acquired the brand Schiaparelli. In addition to Miley Cyrus wearing the brand to the after-Oscars parties, Schiaparelli has been recently worn by such celebs as Kate Blanchett and Lorde.

Lorde in Schiaparelli
Like many originals, Elsa Schiaparelli's spirit continues on long after her body was laid to rest.

Ciao from Venezia,
Cat
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Great Girls over Piazza San Marco - VENICE CARNIVAL 2015

Giusy Versace - Flight of the Eagle - Venice Carnival 2015
(Venice, Italy) Giusy Versace soared over Piazza San Marco during the Flight of the Eagle on Sunday, February 15, 2015, the personification of courage, determination and joy. The dynamic young woman with the famous last name lost both her legs in a horrific car accident in 2005. Did that stop Giusy Versace? (Giusy is pronounced "JOO-see;" there is no "J" in the Italian alphabet; "Gi" makes the same sound.)

Giusy Versace
A year and a half later Giusy was walking, then driving and then, astonishingly, running on her super-duper carbon prostheses, becoming a top Paralympic sport competitor, as well as a Save the Dream Ambassador, inspiring people all over the globe with her sunshine. And now Giusy Versace can fly.

Giusy Versace - Venice Carnival 2015
Another young woman who took flight at the 2015 Carnevale di Venezia was Marianna Sereni, winner of last year's Festa delle Marie, a contest which I have described many times before -- in fact, in 2007 I was the first straniera on the jury which selects the twelve most beautiful, or virtuous young women in the Veneto.

Marie 2015
La Festa delle Marie originated from a pirate raid in 943 a.d., according to Venetian legend. In ancient times, Venetians married on only one day each year. A water procession from the Arsenale on the canal “delle Vergini” started the festivities. All the brides-to-be were rowed across the lagoon in decorated boats brimming with dowries, while their future husbands waited at the Church of San Nicolò at the Lido.

That year, pirates raided the procession, kidnapping the brides and the booty. An enraged 

Venetian rescue party executed the pirates and brought the brides back to the ceremony. 
 
Marianna Sereni- Flight of the Angel 2015
To commemorate the victory in the past, every year twelve patriarchal families would present twelve virtuous young women from poor Venetian families with a dowry, and the designation “le Marie,” or “The Marys.”

Irene Rizzi, "Maria 2015," Marco Polo and the Doge
This year's winning Maria was Irene Rizzi, who was costumed in the style of the Orient when the Twelve Marie made their final appearance on the Grand Stage in Piazza San Marco, yesterday, Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Martedi Grasso. So next year Irene will leap off the bell tower and soar over Piazza San Marco during the Flight of the Angel.

Flag of San Marco in Piazza San Marco
The Venice Carnival 2015 closed with the Twelve Marie releasing an enormous flag of San Marco with its winged lion over Piazza San Marco. The Venetian flag fluttered slowly up to the top of the Campanile as the Gondoliers sang the Venetian anthem, and the sun gently set on Carnevale di Venezia 2015.

Ciao from Venezia,
Cat
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog
 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

TEMPTATIONS... TENTAZIONI... Venice Carnival Party in a Tower

Tentazioni dinner show
(Venice, Italy) There are many Carnival parties in palaces in Venice, but there is only one party in a tower -- the Porta Nuova Tower deep down inside Arsenale, where Venice once cranked out her ships. The tower was actually not built by the Venetian Republic. It was built in 1810 when Venice was under the domination of Napoleon, who used the Arsenale for the naval base of the imperial French fleet in the Adriatic.

Torre di Porta Nuova
But the Tower is now under the domination of City of Venice after having been restored by funds from the Republic of Italy, the Veneto Region, the Comune of Venice, and the European Union. The night I went to the Temptations Dinner Show there was an enormous Venetian flag projected on the side of the Tower.

Tentazioni dinner show
The show itself was excellent, sultry and seductive, performed by Nu Art, a company from Verona whose members slink around in astonishingly beautiful bodies and not much else. There was a blonde... maybe two blondes... we weren't sure... whose acrobatic feats on a lamppost... and a birdcage...and swinging from strands of silk... were, literally, breathtaking.

Temptations dinner show
The dinner itself was fine and plentiful, but not hot enough, though I imagine it was difficult to get the food from wherever it was being cooked to up inside the Tower. My party had been split into two tables; I was seated at a table in the center at the stage and was physically comfortable throughout the evening, but people closer to the walls of the Tower said they were cold. My personal quibble was that while I liked the idea of all the guests wearing the same simple mask -- black for men, burgundy for women -- that they were made out of plastic in a city famous for the quality of its masks was, to me, scandalous.

Tentazioni dinner show
The price of the evening is €200 per person, including wine, and I thought it was under-priced. Even if all the kinks have not yet been worked out, it is a unique experience. Splurge on a boat taxi, and dress warmly.

Go to Temptations Dinner Show for more information.

Ciao from Venezia,
Cat
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog





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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

RODIN and CANDIDA HOFER Star at New Dom Pérignon Space at Ca' Pesaro, Venice

The Burghers of Calais by Auguste Rodin at Ca' Pesaro
(Venice, Italy) The French city of Calais is on the English Channel, less than 25 miles away from England. When people swim the English Channel, they usually swim from around Dover, England to Calais, France. The English Channel is the water that separates Great Britain from continental Europe. It has caused all sorts of havoc over the centuries since, physically, Great Britain is not part of Europe -- although the British have certainly tried to bridge that gap on more than one occasion.


The Hundred Years' War between the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of France began in 1337 as a war between two cousins -- Edward III of England and Philip VI of France -- for the French throne, and ended in 1453. An important early battle was at Calais, which is so close to England that the port makes an excellent trading center for English goods. English Edward not only wanted Calais, he also thought he should be king of France, not French Philip. (I won't get into all the haggling over bloodlines, but they both had legitimate claims to the crown.) But the French aristocracy certainly did not want to be ruled by the King of England!

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Washington II, C-print by Candida Hofer
In 1346, English Edward attacked the city of Calais. French Philip told the citizens not to surrender no matter what. The people of Calais were besieged by Edward's soldiers for a long time -- some sources say 11 months; some say over a year -- but they finally surrendered. English Edward was so furious that it took so long to conquer the city that he said he was going to kill every inhabitant in Calais. Then English Edward changed his mind -- he said that if six prominent citizens surrendered, and walked out wearing nooses around their necks, carrying the keys to the city and the castle, he would spare the townspeople. Six noblemen volunteered to be beheaded, one of them the mayor, Eustache de Saint Pierre, who lead the five other men to the city gates. It is this moment that Auguste Rodin chose to capture in his dynamic sculpture, The Burghers of Calais.

Musée Rodin Paris III C-print by Candida Hofer
However, Edward was married to Queen Philippa, who was kind and compassionate and beloved by the people of England for her good nature. When the queen found out that her husband was planning to behead the Burghers of Calais, she convinced Edward to spare their lives. So the story has a happy ending!

More than 500 years later, in 1884, the city of Calais commissioned the French sculptor Auguste Rodin to create a monument celebrating the act of heroism and identity of the city. The moment Rodin chose to depict was controversial, the public expecting something more classically glorious and heroic. Rodin insisted he had captured the heroism of self-sacrifice.

Place de L'Hotel de Ville Calais I, C-print by Candida Hofer
"PARADOXES" is a series of unusual encounters in the new Spazio Dom Pérignon inside Ca' Pesaro, Venice's International Gallery of Modern Art. The encounters in PARADOXES are between young artists and works from the museum's historic collection, which Dom Pérignon helps restore. The German photographer Candida Hofer is the contemporary star of PARADOXES, and the Auguste Rodin sculpture is part of Ca' Pesaro's historic collection.

Kunstmuseum Basel II, C-print by Candida Hofer
Ca' Pesaro owns a plaster mold of Rodin's Les Bourgeois de Calais, which it bought in 1901. However, there are only 12 existing bronze casts of the Burghers of Calais located around the world, and Candida Hofer, one of the most influential photographers on the international scene, was commissioned by the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Calais to photograph all twelve. Selections from Douze-Twelve, Hofer's 2001 work are here in the Spazio Dom Pérignon at Ca' Pesaro from January 31 to March 29, 2015.

GO TO CA' PESARO FOR MORE INFORMATION
 
Ciao from Venezia,
Cat
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog


Saturday, January 31, 2015

THE TASTIEST FESTIVAL IN THE WORLD! Venice Carnival 2015


Official Carnival site
(Venice, Italy) The theme of the 2015 Carnival of Venice is, in Italian: La Festa più golosa del mondo! Which translates to: The Most Golosa Festival in the World! because there just is not an English word that means "golosa." If you ask Google to translate it, or if you look in an Italian-English dictionary, you will find it means "gluttony" or "greed." I have translated it to "tastiest;" the Carnevale site translates it to "most delicious." But golosa is more than that.

Carnival poster 2015 by Giorgio Cavazzano
I love Gorgonzola cheese, which also doesn't really exist in English; it is called "blue cheese" and is a distant cousin from genuine Gongonzola. In Italy, Gorgonzola is protected and can only be produced in certain regions according to certain methods. The result is something divine; an oozy center that is almost liquid, and a distinct taste... if you gob some Gorgonzola onto fresh warm bread... and sip some white wine... AH. It is something I cannot stop eating. If I buy two etti... (a unit of measure that also doesn't exist in English; there are about 4.5 etti in a pound:) I eat the entire two etti; it is impossible for me to control myself. I am GOLOSA for Gorgonzola. If I were male, I would be GOLOSO for Gorgonzola. Some people have this craving when it comes to chocolate. Or Girl Scout cookies. Or Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey ice cream. It is something you crave, usually something decadent and delicious. So, the Venice Carnival is the most golosa festival in the world, and there will be plenty of goloso food to tempt you.

Official Carnival site
There is a new spirit of cooperation and comradery in the city (someone joked it's because we are still without a mayor, so politics are not involved). While Piazza San Marco will still be the center of the action when it comes to parading in costumes, in the evening the party moves down to Arsenale on February 7 and 8, and then again on February 12 through Fat Tuesday, February 17, complete with nightly fireworks.

Official Carnevale site
This year, many local foundations and organizations are contributing to the Carnival, with some dynamic collaborations. Women in Love or Shakespeare's Women written and directed by the Teatro Goldoni's own Giuseppe Emiliani will be performed inside two impressive Venetian palaces that are now part of Venice's Civic Museums -- Ca' Rezzonico and Palazzo Mocenigo -- with costumes by the renowned Venetian atelier, Stefano Nicolao.

Teatro Goldoni
The Civic Museums are highlighting The Art of Food, featuring cultural and social influences on traditional Venetian cuisine through the ages, keeping with the theme of EXPO 2015 in Milan: "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life." Also, on Fat Thursday, February 12 there will be a theatrical and musical marathon at Palazzo Ducale, Museo Correr, Ca' Rezzonico, Palazzo Mocenigo and Casa Goldoni -- for example, at Palazzo Mocenigo, Venice's museum dedicated to fabric, costumes and perfume, there will be a 10-15 minute performance entitled, "THE GOLOSO LIBERTINE," about the appetites and tastes of the infamous Venetian lover, Giacomo Casanova (now that you know what "goloso" means, you can imagine the show!).

Official Carnival site
There is so much going on that it would take me days to tell you everything. Luckily, the Official Carnival Site is well organized this year, once you understand how it works. At the very top of the Home page, up on the right, you will see five categories: Home, Events list, Parties, Venice Info, Multimedia and Language. Click the Events list. There you can search by day, or venue, or what type of event you would like to see: Traditional, Live Concert, Food, etc. You can see everything that is going on in Piazza San Marco, or everything that is happening on Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, the last day of Carnival.

The Most Golosa Festival in the World, the Venice Carnival, runs from today, January 31 to February 17, 2015.

CLICK TO GO TO THE OFFICIAL CARNIVAL OF VENICE SITE.

Tweet your photos: #carnevalevenezia

Ciao from Venezia,
Cat
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

Friday, January 23, 2015

Venice Carnival for Kids 2015 - The Biennale Lion Makes Music at Arsenale

6th Venice International Kid's Carnival
(Venice, Italy) For the first time, the Venice Kid's Carnival will be held inside the Arsenale in the artfully restored Sale d'Armi. Previous editions of the Carnevale dei Ragazzi were down at Giardini, but this year Paolo Baratta, the President of La Biennale, has declared "Quest'anno si va all'Arsenale!" allowing kids and their grownups to romp around the enormous space that once contained the largest industrial complex in the world. 

The press conference was held in the Sale d'Armi, which means "Weapons Rooms." The word "Arsenale" is a Venetian word, morphed from the Arabic dar-as-sina, which means "house of construction." During the Republic, the Venetians enjoyed showing off their impressive Arsenal, which could whip out an entire ship in a single day. The efficient Venetian production lines made Venice the shipbuilding center of the world, and allowed Venice to control trade in the Mediterranean, which was the foundation of her great wealth.

Arsenale - Jacopo de' Barbari, 1500s
Around the year 1110, according to John Julius Norwich in Venice, The Rise to Empire: "An ambitious new shipbuilding programme was called for, and it was now that Doge Ordelafo made his most enduring contribution to the Republic. Hitherto the shipwrights of Venice had been scattered about all over the lagoon, many if not all of them running small private businesses of their own. Under his aegis shipbuilding became a nationalized industry. For its centre he chose two marshy little islands known as the Zemelle -- 'the twins' in Venetian dialect -- at the far end of the Riva to the east of the city; and here, over the next half-century, there grew up that mighty complex of dockyards, foundries, magazines and workshops for carpenters, sailmakers, ropemakers and blacksmiths that Dante described in the Inferno and that gave a new word to the English language and many others besides -- the Arsenal."

Arsenale today
Nowadays the Arsenale is shared by several powerful organziations, one of which is La Biennale. The Sale d'Armi houses several new national pavilions such as Argentina, South Africa and the Vatican with long-term rental agreements; each nation restored the space with genuine affection -- neither La Biennale, nor Italy, nor Venice spent a penny. The wooden beams that criss-cross the ceiling are original, as are the bricks that make up the walls. It is like an enormous SoHo loft, centuries before Manhattan existed, converted from industry to art.

Escalator - Sale d'Armi - Arsenale, Venice
Paolo Baratta joked that the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas was jealous of the escalator outside the Sale d'Armi. Koolhaas was the Director of the 2014 International Architecture Biennale, and is presently turning the Fondaco dei Tedeschi at the foot of the Rialto Bridge into a shopping center for Benetton, who now owns the building. All hell broke loose a couple years ago when Koolhaas revealed his original plans, which included escalators, and outraged local preservation groups. The scandalous escalators inside the Fondaco dei Tedeschi were the Talk of the Town; the only thing worse was the proposed roof terrace. Koolhaas has since redesigned the plans, which no longer include an escalator in the center atrium. Baratta said that the escalator at the Sale d'Armi just happened to fit without altering the existing structure; as you can see, it is not part of the structure at all:)

So, Arsenale is the venue for the 2015 Kid's Carnival, one of my favorite events during Carnevale. Workshops and laboratories are open to everyone, and they are free. This year, students from 150 schools from all over the Veneto will participate in an international event designed to encourage creativity and original thought. Can you imagine what a fantastic class trip that will be?

The theme this year is:
Carnevale Internazionale dei ragazzi
which the Biennale translates into English as:


but I think a better translation might be:

THE BIENNALE LION MAKES MUSIC AT THE ARSENAL DURING CARNIVAL
.
So, making music and song is the theme, and there will be laboratories and spaces to inspire the kids scattered around Arsenale. The Biennale Music section will be here, as well as the Conservatorio Benedetto Marcello, the United Nations and Unicef. Young musicians who have composed their own music will perform their creations. There will be a treasure hunt, and the Gran Atelier di Sartoria will help kids create their own Carnival costumes and masks with fabric from Rubelli(!).


Five countries will participate in Kid's Carnival this year. Poland's event is called, Plastik is Fantastic! where kids will transform plastic materials into musical instruments, and also focus on creative ways to recycle. Theater Gong from Sibiu in Romania will bring a puppet show "The Almost Famous Cricket" inspired by a fable by the French writer Jean de La Fontaine. The German offering is MY STYLE, MY FASHION SHOW: PLAY WITH FASHION! The kids will design and create their own fashions, including eyewear, and then get their own cover of a magazine. The United States will present Intoniamo... i rumori?? -- Painting with sound, noise and smells -- and will present poetry and narration with those trilly alliteration sounds that kids love to make. Kecskemét is a city of art and culture in Hungary, made famous by its native son, Zoltan Kodaly, best known for the "Kodaly Method," a concept for teaching music education in the classroom, which the Hungarians will share during Carnival for Kids. 


That the world's first military industrial complex has transformed into a World of Art with pavilions that flow into one another and where borders are invisible is a wonderful thing. I think it's terrific that the Kid's Carnival has moved over to Arsenale; it feels right.

FEBRUARY 7 TO FEBRUARY 17, 2015
10:00AM to 6:00PM
Free admission and workshop activities
Info: +39 041 521.8828
promozione@labiennale.org
Ciao from Venezia,
Cat

Monday, January 12, 2015

JE SUIS CHARLIE Banner at top of Rialto Bridge, Venice

JE SUIS CHARLIE banner - Rialto Bridge - Venice, Italy
(Venice, Italy) Venice has draped a JE SUIS CHARLIE banner at the top of the Rialto Bridge as show of solidarity with the people of France, and all people in the civilized world, in defiance of terrorism and support for freedom of expression.

Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
We are not afraid.

Ciao from Venezia,
Cat
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Do you want to be an Art Curator? Open Call for Summer School 2015 in Curatorial Studies - Venice


(Venice, Italy) I often have the good fortune to view art exhibitions here in Venice with the curators themselves, and witness their passion for their subjects. Whether it is contemporary or ancient art, an exhibition comes alive through their eyes and energy.

One of my favorite curators is Luca Massimo Barbero, who has a gem of a show on right now called AZIMUT/H - Continuity and Newness over at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and was the host of the conversation with Heinz Mack on September 19, 2014, which I wrote about here:

Creative Earthquake at Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice - AZIMUT/H and HEINZ MACK


Luca Massimo Barbero is one of the instructors at the Summer School in Curatorial Studies this year, which will take place during the 56th Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition. The School sent over a press release, which will give you all the information you need if you follow the links, or you can go to their website. The deadline to apply is March 31, 2015, and the price for the course is €3,900.

At the 56th Venice Art Biennale: Open Call for the Summer School in Curatorial Studies

 

Open call

 

8th June – 30th September 2015

 
The School for Curatorial Studies is an ambitious and challenging project promoted since 2004 and conceived as a school committed to experimentation and interdisciplinary thinking. The main goals are to spread the knowledge in the field of visual arts and to introduce the students to the professions related to the art world, focusing on contemporary curatorial theory and practice and contemporary museology.

The School’s activities are meant for all those interested and passionate in art, graduated students or professionals who want to deepen their knowledge and improve their practical skills.

The School’s teaching staff is formed by Italian and international professionals, scholars, historians and art critics of recognized experience. Among them: Agnes Kohlmeyer (curator), Angela Vettese (art critic), Luca Massimo Barbero (Peggy Guggenheim Collection), Francesca Colasante (Foundation Pinault), Andrea Goffo (Found. Prada), Tommaso Speretta.

Download here: Program, Information and Application deadline.

Ciao from Venezia,
Cat
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog  

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Midnight Mass in Venice - Bring on the New Year!

Pala d'Oro - Basilica of San Marco, Venice
(Venice, Italy) The Basilica of San Marco is one of the most stunning places of worship in the world; to me, it is the most beautiful and awe-inspiring. The gold mosaics that enhance the enormous interior sparkle with celestial light. The image of Jesus Christ in the center is one of kindness, compassion and wisdom. Many stories are emblazoned across the walls and ceilings of the Basilica; you can tumble into another world just gazing at the images. Angels in the alcoves seem almost real; the air is wispy with the scent and smoke of incense.


On the high holy days, the majestic golden panel, the Pala d'Oro, is turned toward the congregation. I have had the great honor and privilege to kneel directly in front of the Pala d'Oro, and I can tell you what it feels like... it feels as if I am in front of one of the monoliths in 2001: A Space Odyssey, only more divine because it is gold and studded with precious gems... As if it was created with high intelligence and omniscience... I come away pulsing with star dust.


The Pala d'Oro feels as if it was designed according to a sacred plan. As I wrote for Gems of Venice, "According to Mons. Antonio Niero, author of La Pala d'Oro e il Tesoro di San Marco, 'the use and arrangement of the gems and precious stones suggest that the 13th century restorers followed the 21st chapter of the Book of Revelations, which speaks of 12 precious stones when describing the new Jerusalem; some of the stones used in the pala are identical to those described in that chapter.'"

Last year I wrote about the magical feeling of Christmas in Venice, which you can read here:

Christmas Magic in Venice 2013


For two thousand years Christians have been celebrating the birth of a Jew from Galilee whose profound, simple message rocked humanity, which comes down to us in the words of Mark, who wrote the first Gospel, and is the patron saint of Venice: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

Best wishes to all for the New Year.

Ciao from Venezia,
Cat
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog