Here’s another in my series of Venice Cityscape.
The architecture of Venice is testament to the fact that it is truly a city that bridges the east and the west. This may be why I find the City such a special place. It represents an ideal to me – a place of harmony where different cultures and ways of being in the world come together and create something more beautiful and more magical than the some of its parts. Of course many books have been written about Venetian architecture and its influences. This is a very brief introduction as a precis to my dry point etch below.
The origins of Venetian architecture
The origins of Venetian architecture date back to the Byzantine architecture at Torcello. The cradle of Venice. It evolved over Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles to Palladionism and neoclassicism. Venetian Gothic architecture originated in the 14th century. There were three different types of gothic architecture and included Islamic influence, secular gothic, and religious gothic. The building in the etch below clearly employs some of those Islamic elements. The inflected arches of the façade’s windows give the building a distinctive Islamic feel. While the narrow profile of the windows and their arrangement is derived from Christian precedents, their inflected nature has Islamic inspiration. In addition, the stone or marble frame around the windows was probably borrowed from the Islamic alfiz. This style was used for the first time in the Gothic period to highlight the importance of these central windows.
Venice has left behind a rich architectural legacy of mansions, civic buildings, and fortresses. Every time I go to Venice I am transported to another world. I think its a City whose atmosphere and beauty remain incomparable, at least in the West.