Art: Venice at Noontime

When the new French envoy arrived in Venice in 1494 he was given a grand tour of the city. Bug-eyed at Venice's multicolored palaces, its works of art and its citizens' lavish hospitality, he proclaimed it "the most triumphant city I have ever seen."

At the end of the 15th Century, Venice still drew on a great and profitable commerce with the East. Riding the crest of the Renaissance, industrious Venetian artists were turning out more paintings than the artists of any other city in Europe.

Last week 20th Century Venice was a dingy shadow...

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