Saturday, September 28, 2013



San Giorgio Maggiore in Venezia is one of my favorite churches in the world. Of course, it was designed by Palladio. I think I prefer it even to the magnificent Redentore close by on the Judaica. The view from the bell tower is spectacular, and much more accessible than the campanile by San Marco -- meaning it's not so crowded. I guess that is partly because the island itself is not so accessible -- but certainly worth the trip.

The interiors of both San Giorgio and and the Rendentore with their interplay of Istrian stone and stucco-- grey and white-- emphasizing light and shadow -- demonstrate the structural elegance of Palladio's design; and foreshadow what Sir Christopher Wren had intended for the interior of Saint Paul's Cathedral in London. Although I adore Byzantine mosaics, particularly at Hagia Sophia in Istanbul (which I visited for the second time three years ago) and in several churches in Ravenna (which I visited thirty-two years ago, when my brother Sherry had a year at the University of Bologna), I very much disapprove of the colorful mosaics above the Quire at St. Paul's. They were added in the Edwardian era, and are completely wrong for that space. They would be much more appropriate in Westminster Cathedral, the Byzantine-style Roman Catholic Cathedral in London.

But to return to Venice... the picture above of San Giorgio Maggiore -- with Palladio's double temple portico-- is one of the classic views in all Venezia... and indeed the entire Western World. Just three years ago today I was in Venice with my sister Julie, her husband Tom and my wonderful friend Debbie!

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Titian in the Frari (Venezia)