A Fragile Beauty

Doge’s Palace, Venice, Italy, 2017

The city of Venice, Italy (or as it’s called in Italian, Venezia) is one of my favorite places in the world to visit.   It’s a unique place, built on millions of wooden piles driven into the bed of the Venetian lagoon hundreds of years ago, and possessing a beauty that can be found nowhere else.

Roman Statue of the Four Tetrarchs, St. Mark’s Basilica, Venice, Italy, 2017

It’s also a place that has been in the news quite a bit recently, and not for good reasons.  First, there were the great floods that swamped the city in November, with the water level rising to its second highest recorded level ever, causing a tremendous amount of damage.  Then, more recently, the opposite happened, with water levels so low that many of the famous canals were almost dry just two months after the flooding occurred.

Colonnade, St. Mark’s Square, Venice, Italy, 2017

People can debate whether such things are the result of climate change, which is a global challenge, but for Venice itself, the question many have been asking is this:  can Venice remain a vibrant, living city, or will it become an open air museum for tourists to visit but where no one will live anymore?

Canal Reflection, Venice, Italy, 2017

This fragility makes Venice an even more special place, and as I look at the photographs that I have made there, I ask myself if one day they will become historic documents of a bygone world.

Gondola, Venice, Italy, 2017

I’ve been to Venice three times – in 1990, 2009 and 2017 – but as I watch and hear the news about it, I feel that I need to go back more frequently to document more than I have of it so far, for both its great history and its now fragile beauty.   (Perhaps a visit one winter to photograph the annual Carnevale is in order.)

About Dave Rudin

Dave Rudin is a fine art photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. He specializes in art nude and travel photography, using black & white film and making silver gelatin prints in a darkroom.
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