Sunday, February 24, 2013

Tiepolo Sky This Evening


For the 7 years that I lived and worked not too far from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City the paintings of Tiepolo were one of the things that I found useful in getting through the worst months of winter, of January and February, in particular. Unlike, say, the etchings of Rembrandt in that museum's print collection, which draw you into their dark web of lines, I never felt the urge to linger over the Tiepolos for too long. Rather, it was enough to pass through the room in which they hung for the blues and pinks and golds of their skies to have their effect on me, their particular tones somehow creating a sense of lightness where there was none before.

Of course in Venice one can view them in the rooms for which they were painted, or, at the very least, on ceilings above one's head (as intended), instead of on the walls of galleries. 

Or, sometimes, like this evening, one can simply walk outside and see the original inspiration for those skies and be reminded of how, for all his gift for depicting the fanciful, sometimes Tiepolo was just gloriously literal.



9 comments:

  1. It said "No comments" and, really, none are needed. Just beautiful, Steve.

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    1. Thank you much, Bert; the sky did all the hard work and I just had the pleasure of looking.

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  2. Oh, how wonderful. I saw a Tiepolo a couple of days ago at the Museo del Prado exhibition at the MFAH, here in Houston. Curiously enough, like you, I didn't linger over it for very long, but appreciated the brushstrokes and color palette. Thank you for these great photos...in the age of Instagram, I've grown quite weary of skies with colors that look like they were selected from a department store cosmetic counter. Thanks for bucking the trend, and uniting great photos with wonderful essays.

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind remarks, ariodante76; it's interesting that you also, much as the Tiepolo appealed to you, didn't feel the need to labor over it. I'm sure it would be worth it, but maybe that's not how Tiepolo is best enjoyed?

      I guess you're right, the easier it becomes to take & alter a photo--even just by selecting a "mode" or "look" or whatever they call it--the harder it gets to figure out what things really look like. I'm lucky to have a subject that needs no altering; the whole challenge really being to capture what it actually looks like and just not get in the way.

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  3. Marvellous, it's like a painting !

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    1. And, oddly enough, like a painting of a sky whose tones are just a little more beautiful than what you'd find in real life. Or at least, this what I would have thought based upon where I grew up.

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  4. hello, I really enjoyed reading your blog and love the pictures.. my husband and I are planning to come to Italy for just just a few days maybe 3 or 4 .. would u recommend venice in late January?

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    1. Thank you for your kind remarks, Anonymous, and I think, in terms of crowds, at least, that Venice in late January can be quite nice. It is before Carnevale and still within one of those short periods of the year when Venetians feel they have their own city to themselves. However--and depending on how you feel about weather this might ruin the experience for you--it may be quite cold, or rainy, or maybe foggy. Of course you probably already know this and aren't expecting sunshine (though, who knows? there could also be some of that). But for people who for one reason or another have trouble with a cold damp climate it can really impact their sense of the place. I personally think Venice is pretty great in the dead of January.

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    2. I must correct my reply above. I just found out today that Carnevale this year begins on 23 January and runs until 9 February. So if you are hoping for a sleepy Venice in late January you will not find it this year. Especially not on the weekends of Carnevale, which tend to be absolutely awful in terms of crowds. Here is a link to the Carnival website in English: http://www.carnevale.venezia.it/en/

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