The Accademia collection, Venice, Part 3. Also, the Stendhal Syndrome and me.

By the time I visited the Accademia collection in Venice in early February of this year, I was already suffering a bit from the Stendhal Syndrome, or an overload of beauty. This happens to me all of the time when I’m visiting Italian cities, or London, or Paris, or New York. Overstimulation of my senses.

As I am writing this post a week after my visit, I can actually see where the overload begins, as my photographs begin to take on a more random nature. Clearly I am walking into a space and experiencing it with all my senses; looking up at the ceiling, down at the pavement, and like a magpie, my eye is caught by shining things. Usually when visiting an art exhibition, I will take a photo of a label describing the work of art for later use as an aide memoire. When I’m later writing a post and don’t find any pictures of labels, I know Stendhal had kicked in!

Case in point. Look at this ceiling and reliquary in the Accademia. With no picture of any label! I mean, it’s impressive! But, how about some details? Who made it? When? Why? As an art historian, my brain needs to ask these questions.

And then, I presume, the painting below caught my eye and I took a picture. It’s an odd presentation of some feminine church related figure riding a very strange beast. I’m sure that’s why I took a picture, but where’s the label? Presumably it was right beside the work. We may never know.

Ah, but then my senses focus again upon encountering this masterpiece by Carpaccio! OMG. So gorgeous!

And, next to the first magnificent painting by Carpaccio above, is this second one, depicting the presentation of Christ in the temple.

I know for a fact that what initially took my attention to these 2 Carpaccio altarpieces were the musician angels at the bottom, right at eye level. Plus, look how Carpaccio signed this latter work. Right on the virtual marble plinth on which the angel props his right foot. Charmed, I’m sure! Dated 1510.

And, then once again, my eyes travel up to the beautifully decorated ceiling. If you have to have wooden beams in a room, why not decorate them like this?!

I will finish this post with works by 2 of my favorite northern Italian painters, Piero della Francesca and Andrea Mantegna.

Oh, and I’ll throw in this painting too, which obviously I photographed because it relates to the 2 Carpaccio paintings I love above.

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