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Piazza San Marco
by Iain Fenlon
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0674027914, Hardcover)
The Piazza San Marco, one of the most famous and instantly recognizable townscapes in the West, if not the world, has been described as a stage set, as Europe’s drawing room, as a painter’s canvas. This book traces the changing shape and function of the piazza, from its beginnings in the ninth century to its present day ubiquity in the Venetian, European, as well as global imagination.
Through its long history, the Piazza San Marco has functioned as civic space that was used for such varied activities as public meetings; animal-baiting; executions; state processions; meat and produce markets; a performance venue for rock concerts; as well as, more recently, a cafe to enjoy a leisurely Campari. Constantly alert to the question of function, this book recreates not only rituals of the past but also activities of the present, from the coronation of the doge to the legendary Pink Floyd concert of 1989, with much fanfare in between. Iain Fenlon recreates the dynamic, colorful, and noisy history of the piazza—a history that is also the history of Venice and, indeed, of Europe.
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:35 -0400)
Architecture. History. Music. The Piazza San Marco is the most famous townscape in the West. This book is the first to consider it as a coherent whole, as a theatre in which the whole of Venetian history took place, to which it can serve as a highly evocative introduction. It shows how much is lost if the ensemble is divided into the individual structures of Doges' Palace, Basilica of San Marco, Campanile and so on, each 'marvellous' in their own right but functionally separate. Here a different story is told by relating them to each other and to the theatrical piazza of which they form a part; it sees the events that took place there as a barometer of 1,000 years of Venetian history. It recreates not only rituals of the past but also the activities of the present from the coronation of the Doge and the arrival of the Crusaders' loot, through the pathetic collapse of the Republic, to Death in Venice and the legendary Pink Floyd concert of 1989 all taking place in an iconic space which the writings of traditional historians have left dead and silent.
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