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This small book presents Bellotto's great painting in a series of beautiful details that allow the reader to examine the painting closely and enjoy the ...
This small book presents Bellotto's great painting in a series of beautiful details that allow the reader to examine the painting closely and enjoy the colorful and busy goings-on of Venetian life captured so unforgettably by Bellotto. The book jacket unfolds to become a small poster of the painting in its entirety. Accompanying these delightful images is a lyrical essay by noted American poet Mark Doty. Together, Bellotto's painting and Doty's prose make for an unforgettable encounter with the art and life of Venice.
Posted January 25, 2009
First, a shameful metaphor: imagine your favorite food in the whole world. Now imagine a single, perfect, delicious bite of that food, mouth-watering in appearance. You gaze at it; finally you consume it¿not too quickly---not too slowly. It tastes <BR/>better than you even imagined. It was a mere bite, but it was enough.<BR/><BR/>It was amazing!<BR/><BR/>That is exactly what Mark Doty's Essay Seeing Venice: Bellotto's Grand Canal was for me.<BR/><BR/>This tiny (15.5 x 14 x 1.5 cm) book puts giant coffee-table style formats to shame, making it perfect for apartment living, tucking into your luggage after seeing the real painting at the Getty Museum, and making a 'statement' in favor of a greener planet. The cover of the book, carefully shrouded in a vellum fog, unfolds to reveal Bellottos' masterpiece in its entirety. The pages of the book focus on details of the painting.<BR/><BR/>Doty's elegant, lean prose is all about the painting and not about showing off his own magnificent talent with words. He manages to evoke rich sensory appreciation of the smells, textures, people's lives, the uniqueness of Venice in the world. <BR/><BR/>I'll fight an urge to quote many lines in favor of just one about "Water":<BR/>" An odd hardness about it, a flat, impermeable look, Glassy, impenetrable, as if it strove to be part of the world of pavement."<BR/><BR/>In my utterly pedestrian life, prior to reading this book I had no desire to visit Venice, examine Bellotto's Grand Canal, nor read Doty's poetry. Now, however, I hope to do all three! (Well, if I can't make it to Venice, at least I can go to the Getty Museum).Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 22, 2008
Poet and essayist, Mark Doty, has made Bellotto¿s Grand Canal, the subject for this exquisite little book. The painting of the grand canal in Venice is an absolute masterpiece, giving Doty much cause for reflection. The author has taken the painting and segregated different sections for closer scrutiny. Each page shows a piece of the painting in close up detail. At the beginning of the book, Doty reflects on all the elements in the picture: sky, buildings, people and their clothing, surfaces, shadows and much more. Doty also describes the differences in the city now and at the time of the painting. In his musings, it is easy to tell he is a poet. The words and phrases are lyrical and easily project the image to the reader.<BR/><BR/>When the dust jacket is removed and opened up, it is the complete rendering of Bellotto¿s masterpiece. Covering the paper dust jacket is an additional jacket ,opaque in nature, giving the book a watery, almost haunting feel. This book is a delight to hold in the hands, a treasure to savor. Seeing Venice would be a wonderful gift for any art lover or arm chair traveler. Definitely 5***** in my opinion.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 1, 2008
This nice little book (about 5 1/2" x 6") contains an essay written by Mark Doty. He has done a nice job of looking closely at this beautiful painting and writing about different things within the picture. The pictures within the book are very nice, and the dust jacket unfolds to become a complete picture of the famous painting. This would be a great coffee/end table book, as well as a nice office or hostess gift. This would also be great for the art enthusiast!<BR/><BR/>Extended:<BR/>The book is made up of a nice essay that follows the progression of pieces of the painting View of the Grand Canal by Bernardo Bellotto. I enjoyed viewing the pictures as I read the essay.<BR/><BR/>Content: The essay and included pictures take a closer look at this famous painting.<BR/><BR/>Format: The book starts with an essay by Mark Doty, then spotlights different parts of the painting in over 40 pictures. The book ends with a page about the artist. Special Note: The dust jacket unfolds to become a picture of the entire painting.<BR/><BR/>Readability: Very easy to read, with clear pictures that help the reader to focus on different parts of the painting.<BR/><BR/>Overall: A great book for an art enthusiast. Also great for the coffee table or office end-table.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 10, 2002
"Seeing Venice" - just the title is inviting. Who would not want to see this incomparable city, whether for the first time or again and again? Mark Doty, poet and National Book Critics Circle Award winner, presents the Getty Museum's "View of the Grand Canal" in a lyrical essay accompanied by intriguing details from the painting. Doty calls our attention to various aspects of this masterpiece - water, sky and shadows. He also focuses on other artists and writers who have been attracted by this mystical city - Henry James, Tintoretto, and the Brownings. An especially treasured gift, the jacket of this small (approx. 5" by 5") book unfolds to a miniature poster of the painting, which is an outstanding item in the Getty's collection. Bellotto, the painter, was a nephew of Canaletto and recognized for his idealized views of Venice. This particular painting measures over 4 feet by 7 feet, and limns a cross-section of Venetian society engaged in daily business. Whether afficionados of Italy or not "Seeing Venice" is a mini treasure.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.