|The massive actual appears here to be supported by its two-dimensional image|
The church of the Scalzi, or of Santa Maria di Nazareth, as it's officially known, is one of those monumental Venetian sights which is typically rendered invisible to me by the tourist throngs inevitably surrounding it. Foot and suitcase traffic is usually so thick before it that I rush past the church as quickly as possible, noticing nothing except the next opening through the crowd, thinking of nothing except the relief I'll feel when I eventually arrive at a calle with a bit of breathing room.
It's a bad way to go about things, as the day inevitably arrives--as it did just three days ago--when I finally notice what I've been missing.
I've no aesthetic opinion to offer on the Scalzi's Baroque facade; I was just to struck to see it at all, its stone beautifully tinted by the wet weather.
Was this solely the effect of the cleaning efforts just completed, or did the church benefit as well from a certain fleeting peek-a-boo appeal, only half-undraped as it was that moment, the printed image of the facade stretched upon the scaffolding serving as the perfect foil for the thing itself? (Perhaps an ever-more rare inversion of what Henry James, in his great story "The Real Thing," calls the "the perverse and cruel law in virtue of which the real thing could be so much less precious than the unreal.")
Or maybe, like the city of Los Angeles, the church of the Scalzi just simply looks it best right after a heavy rain storm.
|A couple of new figures appear, temporarily, with Mary, Jesus, and other holy sorts amid the first order of the facade|