Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Beyond blue

I've just watched a wonderfully evocative television documentary on the colour blue (the second part of a series written and presented by James Fox on the history of art in three colours: gold, blue, and white; do watch it if you have a chance). It starts on the Venetian lagoon with the story of the arrival of lapis lazuli, a thousand years ago, and the way a stone that looks like a fragment of the sky was turned into the intense pigment of ultramarine that transformed the paintings of Titian and Giotto.
All of which reminded me of the magical few days of our honeymoon in Venice -- staying on Torcello at the Locanda Cipriani (a place that inspired Daphne du Maurier, Nancy Mitford, and Ernest Hemingway; I had known the Du Maurier connection, but not about Mitford, whose photographs are still on the walls, and who spent several months writing there). Just across the water from Torcello is Burano, where I took these pictures of a rainbow of houses (and a handful of Murano glass marbles), including the brightest blue I've ever seen, like the heavenly clear sky above...

12 comments:

The Scrivener said...

Lovely pictures. Of Torcello I have hazy memories of sitting on Atilla's throne and walking around that amazing cathedral - I can clearly recall a relief carving of attenuated peacocks drinking from a fountain. Byzantine and beautiful.

Did you eat at Da Romano on Burano? Was it as wondeful as I remember?

That's Not My Age said...

Oh I meant to watch this series & completely forgot about it -sounds fantastic - thanks for the reminder!

enid said...

Blue is such a magical colour and yet it goes with having the blues and sadness. I love the indigo dyed cloth of West Africa and have a glorious one. Your photos are one again gorgeous. Have you read Colour by Victoria Finlay. I found it fascinating. Hope the Olympics are not getting in your way.

Justine Picardie said...

We did eat at Da Romano, and it was wonderful -- both the food, and the paintings that line the walls. And yes, the cathedral in Torcello is incredible -- beautiful, intricate mosaics, and those ancient carvings that are amongst the oldest in Venice.
As for the Olympics: all rather cheering here in London (I loved Danny Boyle's opening ceremomy, and watching the flame pass the end of my road in Crouch End). So not feeling blue, nor suffering from Holly Golightly's dread of the mean reds, though craving more clear skies and sunlight.

Lilac In May said...

What lovely photos, we ate at Da Romanos whilst there in June (21st - 27th, were you there then too?!), they served us the most fantastic risotto I will ever have.

kairu said...

Gorgeous photos! I love Italy, but I have never been to Venice. Those dazzling blues are brilliantly heraldic of summer days and much, much, happiness...

Justine Picardie said...

Lilac: what a coincidence -- we were there the following week!
Kairu: Venice awaits you... and it is as beautiful in the winter mists as summer sunshine.

Minerva Black the shoppe keeping cat said...

Watched 'Blue' and loved it. Your photos are perfect! The colour has so many variants, quite amazing. Just been to the seaside and love the houses painted shades of blue. Victoria Finlay's book is wonderful and informative. x

jaywalker said...

Lovely, evocative photos. Some years ago we had one of the best meals I have ever had on Burano....I distinctly remember fresh sardines and breadsticks and gorgeous melons. What a wonderful place to have a honeymoon. We've had two brief trips but I would love to go again.

We have just arrived in LA after a month cruising from Dover to here via the NY, the Caribbean,Panama Canal and Costa Rica. And fast and free wi fi again!!

We fly back to Australia on the 8th. You might be pleased to know that the fairly small library on the Sun Princess contained a copy of Daphne!

Justine Picardie said...

Very glad to hear that Daphne is cruising the world! Hope you've enjoyed your travels, too.

jessie pearl said...

Nice topic beyond blue thanks for sharing the blog and keep on updating.It is very interesting blog.

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