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A WANDERER IN
VENICE


BY
E.V. LUCAS


WITH SIXTEEN ILLUSTRATIONS IN COLOUR BY
HARRY MORLEY
AND THIRTY-TWO PHOTOGRAPHS FROM PAINTINGS AND A MAP


New York
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
1914


_All rights reserved_


COPYRIGHT, 1914,
BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.

Set up and electrotyped. Published November, 1914.


Norwood Press:
Berwick & Smith Co., Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.




[Illustration: THE GRAND CANAL FROM THE STEPS OF S. MARIA DELLA SALUTE]




"In like manner I say, that had there bin an offer made unto me
before I took my journey to Venice, eyther that foure of the richest
manors of Somerset-shire (wherein I was borne) should be gratis
bestowed upon me if I never saw Venice, or neither of them if I
should see it; although certainly these manors would do me much more
good in respect of a state of livelyhood to live in the world than
the sight of Venice, yet notwithstanding I will ever say while I
live, that the sight of Venice and her resplendent beauty,
antiquities, and monuments, hath by many degrees more contented
my minde, and satisfied my desires, than those foure Lordships
could possibly have done." - THOMAS CORYAT.


[Illustration: A Bird's Eye View Of Venice]




PREFACE


For a detailed guide to Venice the reader must go elsewhere; all that I
have done is invariably to mention those things that have most
interested me, and, in the hope of being a useful companion, often a few
more. But my chief wish (as always in this series) has been to create a
taste.

For the history of Venice the reader must also go elsewhere, yet for the
sake of clarity a little history has found its way even into these
pages. To go to Venice without first knowing her story is a mistake, and
doubly foolish because the city has been peculiarly fortunate in her
chroniclers and eulogists. Mr. H.F. Brown stands first among the living,
as Ruskin among the dead; but Ruskin is for the student patient under
chastisement, whereas Mr. Brown's serenely human pages are for all. Of
Mr. Howells' _Venetian Life_ I have spoken more than once in this book;
its truth and vivacity are a proof of how little the central Venice has
altered, no matter what changes there may have been in government or
how often campanili fall. The late Col. Hugh Douglas's _Venice on Foot_,
if conscientiously followed, is such a key to a treasury of interest as
no other city has ever possessed. To Mrs. Audrey Richardson's _Doges of
Venice_ I am greatly indebted, and Herr Baedeker has been here as
elsewhere (in the Arab idiom) my father and my mother.

E.V.L.

_June, 1914._




CONTENTS


PAGE

PREFACE vii


CHAPTER I

THE BRIDE OF THE ADRIATIC 1


CHAPTER II

S. MARK'S. I: THE EXTERIOR 6


CHAPTER III

S. MARK'S. II: THE INTERIOR 17


CHAPTER IV

THE PIAZZA AND THE CAMPANILE 31


CHAPTER V

THE DOGES' PALACE. I: THE INTERIOR 46


CHAPTER VI

THE DOGES' PALACE. II: THE EXTERIOR 65


CHAPTER VII

THE PIAZZETTA 78


CHAPTER VIII

THE GRAND CANAL. I: FROM THE DOGANA TO THE PALAZZO REZZONICO,
LOOKING TO THE LEFT 91


CHAPTER IX

THE GRAND CANAL. II: BROWNING AND WAGNER 100


CHAPTER X

THE GRAND CANAL. III: FROM THE RIO FOSCARI TO S. SIMEONE, LOOKING
TO THE LEFT 110


CHAPTER XI

THE GRAND CANAL. IV: FROM THE STATION TO THE MOCENIGO PALACE,
LOOKING TO THE LEFT 119


CHAPTER XII

THE GRAND CANAL. V: BYRON IN VENICE 130


CHAPTER XIII

THE GRAND CANAL. VI: FROM THE MOCENIGO PALACE TO THE MOLO,
LOOKING TO THE LEFT 143


CHAPTER XIV

ISLAND AFTERNOONS' ENTERTAINMENTS. I: MURANO, BURANO AND
TORCELLO 151


CHAPTER XV

ON FOOT. I: FROM THE PIAZZA TO SAN STEFANO 162


CHAPTER XVI

THE ACCADEMIA. I: TITIAN, TINTORETTO, AND PAUL VERONESE 168


CHAPTER XVII

THE ACCADEMIA. II: THE SANTA CROCE MIRACLES AND CARPACCIO 179


CHAPTER XVIII

THE ACCADEMIA. III: GIOVANNI BELLINI AND THE LATER PAINTERS 187


CHAPTER XIX

THE CANALE DI S. MARCO AND S. GIORGIO MAGGIORE 195


CHAPTER XX

ON FOOT. II: THREE CHURCHES AND CARPACCIO AGAIN 206


CHAPTER XXI

ON FOOT. III: THE MERCERIA AND THE RIALTO 217


CHAPTER XXII

S. ROCCO AND TINTORETTO 231


CHAPTER XXIII

THE FRARI AND TITIAN 245


CHAPTER XXIV

SS. GIOVANNI E PAOLO 254


CHAPTER XXV

S. ELENA AND THE LIDO 263


CHAPTER XXVI

ON FOOT. IV: FROM THE DOGAN TO S. SEBASTIANO 270


CHAPTER XXVII

CHURCHES HERE AND THERE 279


CHAPTER XXVIII

GIORGIONE 287


CHAPTER XXIX

ISLAND AFTERNOONS' ENTERTAINMENTS. II: S. LAZZARO AND CHIOGGIA 299




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
IN COLOUR


THE GRAND CANAL FROM THE STEPS OF S. MARIA DELLA SALUTE _Frontispiece_

S. MARK'S FROM THE PIAZZA. THE MERCERIA CLOCK ON THE
LEFT _Facing page_ 10

THE CAMPANILE AND THE PIAZZA FROM COOK'S CORNER " 28

THE CORNER OF THE OLD LIBRARY AND THE DOGES' PALACE " 54

THE PONTE DI PAGLIA AND THE BRIDGE OF SIGHS, WITH A CORNER
OF THE DOGES' PALACE AND THE PRISON " 66

THE DOGANA (WITH S. GIORGIO MAGGIORE JUST VISIBLE) " 88

DOORWAY OF S. MARIA DELLA SALUTE " 112

THE RIALTO BRIDGE FROM THE PALAZZO DEI DIECI SAVII " 126

THE RIO TORRESELLE AND BACK OF THE PALAZZO DARIO " 152

TRAGHETTO OF S. ZOBENIGO, GRAND CANAL " 198

THE GRAND CANAL, SHOWING S. MARIA DELLA SALUTE " 218

S. MARIA GLORIOSA DEI FRARI " 228

THE COLLEONI STATUE AND SS. GIOVANNI E PAOLO " 240

THE PALAZZO PESARO (ORFEI), CAMPO S. BENEDETTO " 276

THE ARMENIAN MONASTERY AND THE LAGOON " 300

VIEW FROM THE DOGANA AT NIGHT " 308




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
IN MONOTONE


ONE OF THE NOAH MOSAICS. In the Atrium of S. Mark's _Facing page_ 18
From a Photograph by Naya.

THE PRESENTATION. From the Painting by Titian in the Accademia " 36
From a Photograph by Brogi.

BACCHUS AND ARIADNE. From the Painting by Tintoretto in the
Doges' Palace " 48
From a Photograph by Naya.

S. CHRISTOPHER. From the Fresco by Titian in the Doges' Palace " 62
From a Photograph by Naya.

THE ADAM AND EVE CORNER OF THE DOGES' PALACE " 70
From a Photograph by Naya.

S. TRIFONIO AND THE BASILISK. From the Painting by Carpaccio
at S. Giorgio degli Schiavoni " 76
From a Photograph by Anderson.

S. JEROME IN HIS CELL. From the Painting by Carpaccio at S.
Giorgio degli Schiavoni " 82
From a Photograph by Anderson.

THE MARRIAGE AT CANA. From the Painting by Tintoretto in the
Church of the Salute " 96
From a Photograph by Anderson.

VENICE WITH HERCULES AND CERES. From the Painting by Veronese
in the Accademia " 102
From a Photograph by Naya.

S. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM WITH SAINTS. From the Painting by Piombo
in the Church of S. Giov. Crisostomo " 116
From a Photograph by Naya.

THE DREAM OF S. URSULA. From the Painting by Carpaccio in the
Accademia " 120
From a Photograph by Brogi.

THE BAPTISM OF CHRIST. From the Painting by Cima in the Church
of S. Giovanni in Bragora " 136
From a Photograph by Anderson.

MADONNA AND SLEEPING CHILD. From the Painting by Giovanni
Bellini in the Accademia " 144
From a Photograph by Naya.

VENUS, RULER OF THE WORLD. From the Painting by Giovanni
Bellini in the Accademia " 158
From a Photograph by Anderson.

THE ASSUMPTION OF THE VIRGIN. From the Painting by Titian in
the Accademia " 164
From a Photograph by Brogi.

THE MIRACLE OF S. MARK. From the Painting by Tintoretto in the
Accademia " 170
From a Photograph by Anderson.

THE FEAST IN THE HOUSE OF LEVI. From the Painting by Veronese
in the Accademia " 176
From a Photograph by Naya.

THE DEPARTURE OF THE BRIDEGROOM AND HIS MEETING WITH URSULA.
From the Painting by Carpaccio in the Accademia " 182
From a Photograph by Naya.

S. GEORGE. From the Painting by Mantegna in the Accademia " 190
From a Photograph by Brogi.

MADONNA AND CHILD. From the Painting by Giovanni Bellini in
the Accademia " 192
From a Photograph by Brogi.

MADONNA AND CHILD WITH SAINTS. From the Painting by Giovanni
Bellini in the Church of S. Zaccaria " 208
From a Photograph by Naya.

S. GEORGE AND THE DRAGON. From the Painting by Carpaccio at
S. Giorgio degli Schiavoni " 212
From a Photograph by Anderson.

S. CHRISTOPHER, S. JEROME AND S. AUGUSTINE. From the painting
by Giovanni Bellini in the Church of S. Giov. Crisostomo " 224
From a Photograph by Naya.

THE CRUCIFIXION (CENTRAL DETAIL). From the Painting by
Tintoretto in the Scuola di S. Rocco " 236
From a Photograph by Anderson.

THE MADONNA OF THE PESARO FAMILY. From the Painting by Titian
in the Church of the Frari " 246
From a Photograph by Naya.

THE MADONNA TRIPTYCH. By Giovanni Bellini in the Church of
the Frari " 252
From a Photograph by Naya.

BARTOLOMMEO COLLEONI. From the Statue by Andrea Verrocchio " 256
From a Photograph by Brogi.

MADONNA WITH THE MAGDALEN AND S. CATHERINE. From the Painting
by Giovanni Bellini in the Accademia " 260
From a Photograph by Brogi.

MADONNA AND SAINTS. From the Painting by Boccaccino in the
Accademia " 266
From a Photograph.

THE PRESENTATION. From the Painting by Tintoretto in the
Church of the Madonna dell'Orto " 282
From a Photograph by Anderson.

THE TEMPEST. From the Painting by Giorgione in the Giovanelli
Palace " 288
From a Photograph by Naya.

ALTAR-PIECE. By Giorgione at Castel Franco " 296
From a Photograph by Naya.




A WANDERER IN VENICE




CHAPTER I

THE BRIDE OF THE ADRIATIC

The best approach to Venice - Chioggia - A first view - Another water
approach - Padua and Fusina - The railway station - A complete
transformation - A Venetian guide-book - A city of a dream.


I have no doubt whatever that, if the diversion can be arranged, the
perfect way for the railway traveller to approach Venice for the first
time is from Chioggia, in the afternoon.

Chioggia is at the end of a line from Rovigo, and it ought not to be
difficult to get there either overnight or in the morning. If overnight,
one would spend some very delightful hours in drifting about Chioggia
itself, which is a kind of foretaste of Venice, although not like enough
to her to impair the surprise. (But nothing can do that. Not all the
books or photographs in the world, not Turner, nor Whistler, nor Clara
Montalba, can so familiarize the stranger with the idea of Venice that
the reality of Venice fails to be sudden and arresting. Venice is so
peculiarly herself, so exotic and unbelievable, that so far from ever
being ready for her, even her residents, returning, can never be fully
prepared.)

But to resume - Chioggia is the end of all things. The train stops at the
station because there is no future for it; the road to the steamer
stops at the pier because otherwise it would run into the water.
Standing there, looking north, one sees nothing but the still,
land-locked lagoon with red and umber and orange-sailed fishing-boats,
and tiny islands here and there. But only ten miles away, due north, is
Venice. And a steamer leaves several times a day to take you there,
gently and loiteringly, in the Venetian manner, in two hours, with
pauses at odd little places _en route_. And that is the way to enter
Venice, because not only do you approach her by sea, as is right, Venice
being the bride of the sea not merely by poetical tradition but as a
solemn and wonderful fact, but you see her from afar, and gradually more
and more is disclosed, and your first near view, sudden and complete as
you skirt the island of S. Giorgio Maggiore, has all the most desired
ingredients: the Campanile of S. Marco, S. Marco's domes, the Doges'
Palace, S. Theodore on one column and the Lion on the other, the Custom
House, S. Maria della Salute, the blue Merceria clock, all the business
of the Riva, and a gondola under your very prow.

That is why one should come to Venice from Chioggia.

The other sea approach is from Fusina, at the end of an electric-tram
line from Padua. If the Chioggia scheme is too difficult, then the
Fusina route should be taken, for it is simplicity itself. All that the
traveller has to do is to leave the train at Padua overnight - and he
will be very glad to do so, for that last five-hour lap from Milan to
Venice is very trying, with all the disentanglement of registered
luggage at the end of it before one can get to the hotel - and spend the
next morning in exploring Padua's own riches: Giotto's frescoes in the
Madonna dell'Arena; Mantegna's in the Eremitani; Donatello's altar in
the church of Padua's own sweet Saint Anthony; and so forth; and then
in the afternoon take the tram for Fusina. This approach is not so
attractive as that from Chioggia, but it is more quiet and fitting than
the rush over the viaduct in the train. One is behaving with more
propriety than that, for one is doing what, until a few poor decades ago
of scientific fuss, every visitor travelling to Venice had to do: one is
embarked on the most romantic of voyages: one is crossing the sea to its
Queen.

This way one enters Venice by her mercantile shipping gate, where there
are chimneys and factories and a vast system of electric wires. Not that
the scene is not beautiful; Venice can no more fail to be beautiful,
whatever she does, than a Persian kitten can; yet it does not compare
with the Chioggia adventure, which not only is perfect visually, but,
though brief, is long enough to create a mood of repose for the
anticipatory traveller such as Venice deserves.

On the other hand, it must not be forgotten that there are many visitors
who want their first impression of this city of their dreams to be
abrupt; who want the transition from the rattle of the train to the
peace of the gondola to be instantaneous; and these, of course, must
enter Venice at the station. If, as most travellers from England do,
they leave London by the 2.5 and do not break the journey, they will
reach Venice a little before midnight.

But whether it is by day or by night, this first shock of Venice is not
to be forgotten. To step out of the dusty, stuffy carriage, jostle one's
way through a thousand hotel porters, and be confronted by the sea
washing the station steps is terrific! The sea tamed, it is true; the
sea on strange visiting terms with churches and houses; but the sea none
the less; and if one had the pluck to taste the water one would find it
salt. There is probably no surprise to the eye more complete and
alluring than this first view of the Grand Canal at the Venetian
terminus.

But why do I put myself to the trouble of writing this when it has all
been done for me by an earlier hand? In the most popular of the little
guide-books to Venice - sold at all the shops for a franc and twenty
centimes, and published in German, English, and, I think, French, as
well as the original Italian - the impact of Venice on the traveller by
rail is done with real feeling and eloquence, and with a curious
intensity only possible when an Italian author chooses an Italian
translator to act as intermediary between himself and the English
reader. The author is Signor A. Carlo, and the translator, whose
independence, in a city which swarms with Anglo-Saxon visitors and even
residents, in refusing to make use of their services in revising his
English, cannot be too much admired, is Signor G. Sarri.

Here is the opening flight of these Two Gentlemen of Venice: "The
traveller, compelled by a monotone railway-carriage, to look for hours
at the endless stretching of the beautifull and sad Venetian plain,
feels getting wear, [? near] this divine Queen of the Seas, whom so many
artists, painters and poets have exalted in every time and every way;
feels, I say, that something new, something unexpected is really about
to happen: something that will surely leave a deep mark on his
imagination, and last through all his life. I mean that peculiar
radiation of impulsive energy issueing from anything really great,
vibrating and palpitating from afar, fitting the soul to emotion or
enthusiasm...."

Yesterday, or even this morning, in Padua, Verona, Milan, Chioggia, or
wherever it was, whips were cracking, hoofs clattering, motor horns
booming, wheels endangering your life. Farewell now to all! - there is
not a wheel in Venice save those that steer rudders, or ring bells; but
instead, as you discern in time when the brightness and unfamiliarity of
it all no longer bemuse your eyes, here are long black boats by the
score, at the foot of the steps, all ready to take you and your luggage
anywhere for fifty per cent more than the proper fare. You are in
Venice.

If you go to the National Gallery and look at No. 163 by Canaletto you
will see the first thing that meets the gaze as one emerges upon
fairyland from the Venice terminus: the copper dome of S. Simeon. The
scene was not much different when it was painted, say, _circa_ 1740. The
iron bridge was not yet, and a church stands where the station now is;
but the rest is much the same. And as you wander here and there in this
city, in the days to come, that will be one of your dominating
impressions - how much of the past remains unharmed. Venice is a city of
yesterdays.

One should stay in her midst either long enough really to know something
about her or only for three or four days. In the second case all is
magical and bewildering, and one carries away, for the mind to rejoice
in, no very definite detail, but a vague, confused impression of wonder
and unreality and loveliness. Dickens, in his _Pictures of Italy_, with
sure instinct makes Venice a city of a dream, while all the other towns
which he describes are treated realistically.

But for no matter how short a time one is in Venice, a large proportion
of it should be sacred to idleness. Unless Venice is permitted and
encouraged to invite one's soul to loaf, she is visited in vain.




CHAPTER II

S. MARK'S. I: THE EXTERIOR

Rival cathedrals - The lure of S. Mark's - The façade at night - The Doge's
device - S. Mark's body - A successful theft - Miracle pictures - Mosaic
patterns - The central door - Two problems - The north wall - The fall of
Venice - Napoleon - The Austrian occupation - Daniele Manin - Victor
Emmanuel - An artist's model - The south wall - The Pietra del Bando - The
pillars from Acre.


Of S. Mark's what is one to say? To write about it at all seems indeed
more than commonly futile. The wise thing to do is to enter its doors
whenever one has the opportunity, if only for five minutes; to sit in it
as often as possible, at some point in the gallery for choice; and to
read Ruskin.

To Byzantine architecture one may not be very sympathetic; the visitor
may come to Venice with the cool white arches of Milan still comforting
his soul, or with the profound conviction that Chartres or Cologne
represents the final word in ecclesiastical beauty and fitness; but none
the less, in time, S. Mark's will win. It will not necessarily displace
those earlier loves, but it will establish other ties.

But you must be passive and receptive. No cathedral so demands
surrender. You must sink on its bosom.

S. Mark's façade is, I think, more beautiful in the mass than in detail.
Seen from the Piazza, from a good distance, say half way across it,
through the red flagstaffs, it is always strange and lovely and unreal.
To begin with, there is the remarkable fact that after years of
familiarity with this wonderful scene, in painting and coloured
photographs, one should really be here at all. The realization of a
dream is always amazing.

It is possible - indeed it may be a common experience - to find S. Mark's,
as seen for the first time, especially on a Sunday or fête day, when the
vast red and green and white flags are streaming before it, a little
garish, a little gaudy; too like a coloured photograph; not what one
thinks a cathedral ought to be. Should it have all these hues? one asks
oneself, and replies no. But the saint does not long permit this
scepticism: after a while he sees that the doubter drifts into his
vestibule, to be rather taken by the novelty of the mosaics - so much
quieter in tone here - and the pavement, with its myriad delicate
patterns. And then the traveller dares the church itself and the spell
begins to work; and after a little more familiarity, a few more visits
to the Piazza, even if only for coffee, the fane has another devotee.

At night the façade behaves very oddly, for it becomes then as flat as a
drop scene. Seen from the Piazza when the band plays and the lamps are
lit, S. Mark's has no depth whatever. It is just a lovely piece of
decoration stretched across the end.

The history of S. Mark's is this. The first patron saint of Venice was
S. Theodore, who stands in stone with his crocodile in the Piazzetta,
and to whose history we shall come later. In 828, however, it occurred
to the astute Doge Giustiniano Partecipazio that both ecclesiastically
and commercially Venice would be greatly benefited if a really
first-class holy body could be preserved in her midst. Now S. Mark had
died in A.D. 57, after grievous imprisonment, during which
Christ appeared to him, speaking those words which are incised in the
very heart of Venice, "Pax tibi, Marce, evangelista meus" - "Peace be to
thee, Mark my evangelist"; and he was buried in Alexandria, the place of
his martyrdom, by his fellow-Christians. Why should not the sacred
remains be stolen from the Egyptian city and brought to Venice? Why not?
The Doge therefore arranged with two adventurers, Rustico of Torcello
and Buono of Malamocco, to make the attempt; and they were successful.
When the body was exhumed such sweetness proceeded from it that all
Alexandria marvelled, but did not trace the cause.

The saint seems to have approved of the sacrilege. At any rate, when his



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