Mstation Book Reviews
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Mon, 29 Aug 2005

Rendezvous in Venice

Phillipe Beaussant, Rendezvous in Venice, Pushkin Paper

If the idea of the title appeals to you, so might this beautiful little novel. If Venice appeals, then it is likely that beauty, art, and history might also. The book involves an art expert, his nephew, and two beautiful young women. There isn't actually all that much about Venice, just some allusions to places, churches, and paintings. There are a lot of mentions of various paintings from all around.

One little story is illustrative. A young girl came to Florence who entranced all who saw her. Her name was Simonetta Vespucci, and was a relation of Amerigo. One of her admirers was Boccaccio. In his subsequent paintings, all the females he painted were Simonetta ... as Venus, as ... She died at the age of twenty-three and Boccaccio asked that when he died, he be buried at her feet. He was, and they are still together.

It is all beautifully done with the simple story expanded by a possible lesson for life, and certainly the idea that art without heart, in the beholder especially, is just technique.

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