There’s an unfulfilled longing and desire in the pages of JoAnn Locktov’s monochrome elegy to the city of Venice. A melancholic fleeting memory of times gone by, times lost and gone forever…
And yet Venice is with us still, a unique, picturesque and beguiling melange of decay and faded glory. Reminiscent of a lady of a certain age, a strange cacophony of perfume, red lipstick and ancient fur, wrapped purposefully around one of the Venetian ‘bricole’ that mark the navigable channels of the lagoon.
On the cover of ‘Dream of Venice’ the ‘bricole’ are there, guiding the weary visitor across the waters of the Bacino San Marco to the Church of the Redentore. Compelling even the most reluctant to step out into the uncertain, murky mists of the lagoon. Designed by legendary 16th century architect Andrea Palladio, the Redentore rises stoically out of the swirling ‘calgo’, a landmark on the Giudecca Island. Built as a votive church, a symbol of thanksgiving that Venice had survived yet another outbreak of plague in the 1570s, a plague that carried off one in three of the population. Life has never been easy for Venice or for the Venetians. They struggle to respire in an overwhelming miasma of visitors and increasing days of high water ‘acqua alta’.
‘Dream of Venice’ embraces the dichotomy that is Venice, on the one hand, beauty, serenity, architectural elegance. On the other dark, shadowy alleys, reminiscent of Dicken’s London, dirty, evil, neglected. A strange juxtaposition of great beauty and tragic abandonment. This collection of black and white photographs is engaging and atmospheric, sentimental and purposeful. Consider it an essential addition to your Venetian library in 2019.
After Church (2008) – Robert Schonfeld (photographer). Cannaregio, Venezia
- You can purchase a copy of ‘Dream of Venice’ from www.amazon.com or via Bella Figura Publications: firstname.lastname@example.org
- For numerous articles on Venice and the lagoon – why not start with: Ernest Hemingway, Venetian Lagoon
- Alternatively start with: Venice – respect, honour, enjoy!
- Happy Reading!
- 5th March 2019