Saturday, January 24, 2015
The vast compound of Palazzo Ducale, Venezia (Doge Palace, Venice) is a trove of architectural and art treasures scattered around within and without the highly decorated walls of the palace, therefore it took me some concentration to choose my two favorites.
My first choice was a painting by Titian, depicting the giant Saint Christopher carrying baby Jesus on his back, across a river before the child revealed himself as Christ. The composition was powerfully dynamic, with the Saint startlingly sinewy and serious, a personification of reliability and steadfastness. The Child, airy, playful and full of vitality, in the lighter moment of his eventful and tragic life. The coloration was neither flashy nor rich - time might have robbed some of its tonal splendor but the muted palette gave gravitas to the painting and a sense of timelessness.
San Christopher by Titian
My second favorite artwork in the palace was a relief on the outer wall, titled "The Drunkenness of Noah". This relief cleverly utilized the confined space about a portal, positioning Noah, barely covered of his nakedness with a cloth, on one side of the portal, turning corner from the main plane, upon which carved all his three sons, who were divided into two groups, separated by the pointed arch, with his "good sons" Shem and Japheth nearing Noah, holding the garment to cover him, while his bad son "Ham" stood far away from the rest, with a clear sense of the banishment of him, whose descendents were cursed by Noah for Ham's supposed insensitivity to his father's privacy.
A very strange story out of bible, rendered with great economy, clarify and pathos.
The Drunkenness of Noah on the 'Vine Angle' above the 1st Capital on Palazzo Ducale
My Favorite Museum Collection Series
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List of My Favorite Artworks in the Museums I've Visited
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