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Review: Seeing Venice

November 30, 2008


One of the most popular paintings in the Getty Museum is View of the Grand Canal by Bernardo Belloto.  It is a huge painting (53¼ x 91¼ inches) and it depicts a typical day in the Venice of 1740.  Seeing Venice: Bellotto’s Grand Canal is a small book (both in size and length) dedicated to this beautiful painting.  It contains an essay by Mark Doty and close-up views of sections of the canvas.  Mark Doty is a poet and memoirist and he does a wonderful job of analyzing and describing the painting.  He says:

And so this must be one of the few three-hundred-year-old canvases in the world which one could place exactly in the spot where it was painted and see, in essence the same space.

Since there isn’t a picture of the whole painting in the book, the dust jacket folds out to reveal the entire thing.  Reading the essay and seeing the painting makes me want to go to Venice so I would recommend this charming book to lovers of art and Italy.

Check out Wendi’s excellent review here.

19 Comments leave one →
  1. November 30, 2008 7:21 am

    Sounds like a good one. I’m hoping to get to Italy one of these days.

  2. November 30, 2008 8:16 am

    Kathy, I’d love to go to Venice (who wouldn’t???) We actually had a trip booked several years ago, but had to cancel it and never have rescheduled. One of these days!

    Nice review. This book looks great.

  3. November 30, 2008 10:54 am

    This looks like a wonderful book. I’m with Shana, who wouldn’t want to go to Venice someday.

  4. thekoolaidmom permalink
    November 30, 2008 11:48 am

    Interesting idea to write a book inspired by a painting (I’m sure it’s not the first… lol.. but I’m not much of an art person, so it’s the first I’ve heard of). Great googley-moogley… I’ll have to win the lottery (or publish my best seller… hehehehe) to have enough money to visit all the places in the world I want to see.

    Pembrokeshire, Wales, though, is first on my list :-D. That’s where my family’s from. Sterling, Scotland is second on my list, also where part of my family is from.

  5. November 30, 2008 12:12 pm

    Kathy, I just got this beautiful book in the mail yesterday! I can’t wait to look through it with my husband. He suggested that we read it together.
    We can dream about a vacation to Italy!

  6. November 30, 2008 2:21 pm

    Sounds like a terrific book for the armchair traveler! 🙂 My husband is a big Italophile & I’d love to get there someday!

  7. November 30, 2008 2:29 pm

    This sounds like a lovely book. I like the fact that the dust jacket unfolds to show you the entire painting.

  8. November 30, 2008 5:15 pm

    This looks like a good one. I remember seeing it around. I didn’t get to Venice on my trip to Italy this summer. Bummer.

  9. November 30, 2008 5:46 pm

    This really sounds lovely. And Venice is definitely on my “to visit someday” list.

  10. stacybuckeye permalink
    November 30, 2008 6:31 pm

    We took our first trip overseas to Italy this past spring and Venice was our first stop and favorite city. I’m looking forward to checking out the book. Thanks for recommending it Kathy!

  11. November 30, 2008 9:43 pm

    This sounds like a lovely little book! Appropriate for those who’ve visited Venice, those who are planning a trip, and those who dream of it.

    Thanks for the review!

  12. November 30, 2008 11:22 pm

    I love art books! What I wouldn’t give to figure out how to convince a publisher to send me one of those gigantic art history tomes to review!

  13. December 1, 2008 12:47 am

    Great review – I just received this book, and will be posting a review shortly!

    🙂 Wendi

  14. December 1, 2008 12:47 am


    You won my giveaway of The American Journey of Barack Obama at Wendi’s Book Corner!!

    Please reply with your address so I can forward your information to Hachette Book Group, who will send you a brand new book!!



  15. December 1, 2008 10:12 am

    I’ve always wanted to go to Venice. First, though, I need to get over my fear of flying. LOL This looks like a great book!

  16. December 1, 2008 10:25 am

    I was fortunate to travel to Italy last year with my family, and Venice was definitely one of the most amazing places I’ve ever seen. All of the photos we have from our trip to Europe feature me with some sort of awestruck, dazed expression! This book sounds very interesting; I like Mark Doty, too.

  17. December 1, 2008 1:12 pm

    This makes me want to go to Venice too. In the meantime I will just settle for the book.

  18. December 1, 2008 1:22 pm

    I’ve got my review up
    and I’ve added a link to your review.

    🙂 Wendi

  19. December 1, 2008 10:02 pm

    Thanks for the link Kathy!! I am just starting to look through the makeup books by Bobbi Brown and Carmindy – they are great so far!! 🙂

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