Signs of Art in the streets of Venice

I wanted to write something about how art history is evident not just in the interiors of museums and churches in Venice but has a certain visibility as you walk around its streets and squares. This is in the form of reproductions of painting. I realised that I was concurrently taking pictures of contemporary street art and graffiti. Rather than treating the historical and contemporary as two separate criteria these can also be considered to part of the mass of visual information one encounters walking around the city:


My first experience of this is actually on arrival at Marco Polo airport. Here’s a shot of the vinyl flooring  in the baggage reclaim area:



Signs of antiquity and modernity: a wet floor hazard sign featuring a slipping man juxtaposed with a reproduction an ancient winged god:


Next are some photographs I took in Venice itself. The next series of pictures illustrate how the Canova, Hayez and Cicognara exhibition at the Accademia Gallery is being advertised. Using codes of fashion advertising, paintings have been cropped to emphasise and fetishize fragments of the human body:




This is detail of a poster advertising Palazzo Cini featuring a work by Dosso Dossi, a 16th Century painter from Ferrara. What struck me in particular was the intense expression on the woman’s face –  deep grooves are painted between her eyebrows – an antithesis to airbrushed representations of women.  The violence of the two fingers pressing into her face and prising open her mouth was also very disturbing:

Graffiti meets art history – another billboard advertising La Galleria at Palazzo Cini featuring detail of a Madonna and Child tempera painting by 15th century artist Piero Della Francesca has had a pair spectacles drawn on the baby:

Below a close up:


Creativity on display, in a narrow Venetian Calle (street or lane)  this electricity box is reborn as a framed art installation:


Skull by Italian artist SNEM on a leafy terracotta wall:

I liked this colourful street collage and the fact there is a little red typed job search sign beneath it for an electrician seeking work:

Another reappropriated wall square in Venice, this time extending to the surrounding bricks:



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