Meandering the Streets of Venice
There’s something special about an old building. The spider-webbed cracks across flaking paint, crumbling brick and plaster, the wash of rust… There’s something poignant, haunting, almost romantic about that building you once passed as a child.
Perhaps it is because it holds some memory for you or represents some symbolic image which you hold dear to your heart. It’s just as Ernest Dimnet said, “Architecture, of all the arts, is the once which acts the most slowly, but most surely, on the soul.” And more often than not, it’s not the obvious facade of the building that is striking to you. As a local, the famous skyscrapers, hotels, and sculptures are defining factors to the architecture of your beloved city. But what you love is the back alley you slid through as a child on your way to school. That imperfect arch of a worn canopy, the partially hidden coffee shop that only locals know of, isolated canal, the broken sculpture that every tourist passes by…
These prints are not postcard perfect images of Venice. They do not picture the famous monuments and historical sites but rather the places which hold the hearts of the Venetians. Inspired by James McNeil Whistler, these printers strive to capture essence of Venice through its architecture. The strength of the city, a city not sinking into the waters but one that stands strong against weather and time, is captured in the perfect lines of John Taylor Arms. Ernest David Roth captures the intimate feeling of beloved Venice in his own unique technique, and Sydney Litten the ethereal mystery of a city upon waters with soft, undefined lines.
I invite you to meander the streets of Venice as did these printers, locals, passing tourist, and young school boy. Lose yourself to the romance, mystery, sorrow, bleakness, bustling of Venice to discover your own place within the city. Perhaps you’ll stumble upon a lost memory or inspire you to make a memory.
Holly Huey – St. John’s College Student
Photo credit: Ernest David Roth, Ponte del Paradiso, 1925