Venetian Palaces

Alvise Zorzi, Author, Paolo Morton, Photographer, Paolo Marton, Photographer Rizzoli International Publications $95 (537p) ISBN 978-0-8478-1200-4
If any city could fit happily into the pages of a picture book, it's Venice: small, old, beautiful, palpably mortal. Venice's melancholy splendor lies both in its physical longevity and in its decline, in the vital signs of an ever-more-distant past. Zorzi, a Venetian involved in the preservation of his hometown, and Marton ( Venetian Villas ) do the place justice in their illustrated survey of palazzi from the Doge's Palace (circa 810) to innumerable smaller residences of Byzantine, Gothic, Renaissance and later eras. Stone predominates in their view of the landscape, whether that of the elaborate interior mosaic floors of dwellings, in the Bridge of Sighs, or in the unadorned walls of a Venetian prison. Marton's photos of exteriors are striking; artful urban bedrock seems to let the clustered islands of the onetime trading center rest with surreal serenity on water. In this vision of a city as an artifact, few people can be seen, suggesting the power of the dead on all that has managed to survive them. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
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