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Publishers WeeklyArchitect and artist Van Doren offers a love letter to Venice in this elegant and slender volume, and he sings his praise to the city through majestic prose and 23 beautiful watercolor paintings of Venice. He quickly discovers, after wandering into San Giacomo di Rialto, perhaps Venice's oldest church, that the city has one "great transformative advantage: Mediterranean light," which offers a new way of seeing the city's architecture, the history of art, and his own painting. Van Doren praises numerous artists from whom he draws lessons as he explores the city. James Whistler captures the "sweet serenity of Venice with perfect pitch." He admires deeply John Singer Sargent's watercolors of Venice that exhibit his "supreme confidence with color." Van Doren takes John Ruskin as his model, confessing that Ruskin was an "artist of architecture" whose writings convinced him that he could become a painter. In all of his paintings, he has attempts to keep in mind the lesson of one of his teachers: "Keep it simple. Don't try to make it more complicated than it already is." Clearly, he's learned his lesson well. Illus.
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