In December 2012 Mary and I travelled again to Venice. This time being winter, the lighting and atmosphere would be different (from our sunny, bright last visit) and there might even be some flooding. I had wanted to get inside the Arsenal on my last visit but it is a restricted naval area and without proper notice I was denied access.
Before leaving Canada our dear friend, Admiral Nigel Greenwood had kindly provided an introduction for me. On my arrival I made contact with the Italian Naval authorities and an appointment was made.
The Arsenal is the historic shipyard where the Venetian fleet was built. It covers a huge area. At one time ships were launched at the rate of one a day.
On arriving at the beautiful main entrance we were greeted by Admiral Bruno Marconi who took us on a short personal tour, making arrangements for a full guided tour the following day
I was amazed at the beauty, size and age of the buildings, some of which date back to the 1400’s. I could not believe the roof spans over many slipways that defied the simple structure within.
I am most grateful to all those who made my tour possible.
True to forecasts we did see some flooding, but it did not inconvenience us. High tides and fog made for some interesting scenes, the result of which I am sure will culminate in more paintings.
I was also able to visit several exhibitions of master artists, studying styles and techniques. Mary had fun photographing interesting scenes – one in particular is of Santas rowing under the Rialto Bridge – right beside a traditional gondola. The weather had brightened up at that point so we were lucky to see the mist and also the bright sunshine.