Lecture by Nigel McGilchrist: Venice & the Veneto

Venice is perhaps the world’s most beautiful city, and certainly one of its most anomalous human creations. Built in the water of a lagoon, it needed, as it grew in size and importance, a hinterland of its own which both protected its approaches from the land, and provided it with agricultural produce and timber. This became the area known as the Veneto – the flat-lands and alpine foothills that extend to the north and west of Venice. The unequalled international wealth and culture of Venice at its apogee, in the 15th and 16th centuries, flowed out into this area, imbuing it with some of the most accomplished painting and dignified domestic architecture we possess – the works of Paolo Veronese, Titian, Cima, and Giovanni Bellini, and the harmonious villas and gardens of Andrea Palladio which were to influence so profoundly American architecture in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Veneto is the incarnation of a quality of life and civilization that has rarely been equaled in history.

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