Calle de san Pantalon

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Oil on Canvas - 16" x 20"

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In 1966 Ian sailed on the cruise ship Black Prince from Cyprus to Venice.  The boat arrived at Venice at sunrise and the vision of the domes and spires of Il Serenissima rising from the shining blue sea stayed with him.

It was not until 2003 that Ian & Betty were able to go and spend two months there in the attic studio of a five story palazzo in the Campo del Frari.  From one window one viewed the snowy peaks of the Dolomites and from the other, the roofs and tower of the Frari church.

At first sight Venice seems to be in an advanced state of dilapidation, but it looked pretty much the same when Canaletto was painting it over 200 years ago.  For Ian, this is the main part of the attraction.

He finds the maze of ancient alleys, passages and squares endlessly fascinating as do millions of other people who have been there.  However, his particular love is Venice at night, especially around carnival time when the mist rolls in from the sea.  The flagstones glitter wetly, reflecting the dim streetlights and exotically dressed figures may appear at any moment from a black tunnel.

There is a frisson of mystery with a touch of menace and a suggestion of secret assignations and strange revelries behind the massive doors of the palazzos.  All nonsense of course - the dark figure lurking by the canal is probably a German tourist who has lost his way!

But Ian has his dreams of a world where costumed fools can still be seen frollicking in the streets.