Stopping To Smell the Wisteria

April 24, 2019

We were supposed to have partial rain today, so off we set with coats and umbrellas to face the day. But the day fooled us with sun and perfect temperatures. The walk today was much more leisurely as we weren’t rushing to get out of the rain.

Because Venice has such limited area, we have been amazed at the inventive outdoor spaces the residents have created.

Interesting statuary is to be seen in many of the little parks and various nooks and crannies.

The Wisteria arbor in a small neighborhood garden pictured above had the most heavenly scent.

We stopped to enjoy the vistas, little gardens, shop windows, a Leonardo da Vinci exhibit and finally wound our way to the Peggy Guggenheim Foundation Museum.

The da Vinci exhibit showed copies of Leonardo’s engineering drawings. Models were created from the drawings and plans he left. The exhibit is set up in an old church that evidently was no longer used for religious purposes. Da Vinci seemed to be very interested in bearings, flight, gears, weapons of war both defensive and offensive and easing the burden of physical labor.

This is a model for a system to repel attackers climbing fortified walls with ladders.

This is a model of a ship with paddle wheels turned by a gear system to minimize labor.

This bicycle was built from a very rough and preliminary drawing. The major problem is that the from wheel doesn’t have a system for turning. It really is a beautiful old church.

Heiress Peggy Guggenheim was the daughter of Benjamin Guggenheim, who went down with the Titanic in 1912. Her uncle Solomon Guggenheim established the art foundation which features leading art museums in New York, Bilboa, Spain and Peggy’s art collection in Venice, Italy.

Peggy was buried in her garden near her beloved dogs.

We really enjoyed this dog sculpture with snake in the garden by Mirko (1910-1960)

These three smaller sculptures are by Henry Moore (1808-1986) are located in the forecourt of the museum which is located in Peggy’s home, 18th-century Palazzo Venier dei Leoni on the Grande Canal.

There is an extensive exhibit of Jean Arp’s work. He was born in Germany in 1886. He was a contemporary of Wassily Kandinsky, who encouraged him in his artistic research. Arp was involved in Abstraction-Creation, Surrealism and Dada. Dada was a reaction to WW1. The Dada movement was made up of artists that rejected the logic, reason and aestheticism of modern capitalist society. They expressed nonsense, irrationality and anti-bourgeois protest in their works*. The most famous Arp quote is, ” Art is fruit growing out of man like the fruit out of a plant like the child out of the mother…Reason tells man to stand above nature and to be the measure of all things…through reason man became a tragic and ugly figure.”`

This museum is one of the most prominent contemporary art museums in Italy. It features Picasso, Kandinsky, Calder, Braque, Metzinger, Leger, Delaunay, Brancusi, Ernst, Magritte and many more fabulous works of art. Unfortunately photos aren’t allowed in the museum.

Here I am hanging upside down in this polished Granite sculpture.

Walking back to the hotel we pasted several art galleries. I noticed a rather pixelated painting in a window and went in for a closer look.

What an amazing surprise to find the whole painting was made up of female body parts with lots of bikinis and thongs involved.

We also found a few Palazzo’s with boat garages. Most everything here is done by boat. Working boats carry passengers, are mounted with cranes to load and off load building supplies and pallets of merchandise for stores and retail shops. The boat traffic is dense and constant, as no motorized land vehicles exist in Venice. Below is a produce market on a boat.

* Jean Arp and Dada, Wikipedia

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