Friday, January 26, 2007


I went to Venice to escape the snow and to see Meyerbeer, but I arrived too late. The Meyerbeer was over the same day that I went to Fidelio. I don't know how I messed that up. Venice is different in the middle of winter. Carnival had not yet started. My legs were good enough to wander around the streets and get lost, the perfect activity in Venice.

Now I am in Rome because the cold weather was coming to Venice, too. It rained today in Rome but not very much. Because I have an umbrella in my suitcase, I didn't buy one from the vendors that magically appeared with the raindrops. This seemed logical for some reason. Here the internet is cheaper and I know where to find cheap food. Not having a home is very expensive, it would appear. I wrote a friend that if I had a home, I would go to it.

I came to see art. Specifically the Matisse & Bonnard exhibition, held in the Complesso del Vittoriano. Apparently this title refers to the wedding cake, torta di matrimonio, the only name I have ever heard it called. Why don't they just say so? The man in the hotel called it the "white one." It is quite an excellent exhibition with the works of the two men side by side. What is the difference? Bonnard is an excellent painter who departs from the post impressionist style mainly in the use of color--fauvist, I believe it's called.

Matisse is more daring, further away from the impressionist tradition, trending more toward modernism. His nudes have black lines around them, something Bonnard would never do. Matisse leaves unpainted places in the paintings sometimes. Bonnard never does. I bought a few postcards for my collection.

I like to write about art because I know nothing about it except what my eyes tell me. There is also a Caravaggio exhibition in Termini that is closing soon. One is a painting of a man having his tooth pulled. Very funny and not Caravaggio's usual clarity. I think this is the one that is a recent attribution. Or maybe they all are.

An x-ray shows the marks on the paintings Caravaggio made to show where to position the models for later sittings. This is something that is looked for.

There is no tennis on television, but there are lots of films of snow in Germany. I feel more at home in Switzerland.


Paul said...

Sorry you missed "Il Crociato in Egitto," the first staged version since before 1900. According to the published review in the Int'l Herald Trib ( it could have been a whole lot better. The Opera Rara CD version with Bruce Ford is amazing, and I recommend it highly.

Anonymous said...

Indeed, a shame you missed it. Crociato is fantastic fun, though I still only have half an idea what it's about - I figure when you have three main characters whose names all begin with A, you surely can't be expected to actually follow the thing. And I think Patrizia Ciofi would make an interesting Palmide; though still not a patch on Opera Rara's Palmide of course - naturally I second Paul's recommendation.

Dr.B said...

I have mispelled traveling. It should have two l's and it isn't my fault it doesn't.