Cartoon Analysis

Last weekend the comic strip Rose Is Rose featured a gondolier!

Let’s do some analysis here:

The gondola has a proper forcola (with a bend in it and a little cleft to hold the oar), and there’s a ferro da popa on the back of the boat. The oar, when not in use, rests along the edge of the boat, just where gondoliers actually place it. There’s even a tapeo (rug) under the gondolier’s feet! The proportions, as far as length, look quite accurate, but, as you can see in the eighth panel when we look at the lovers’ kissing, there’s no asymmetrical tilt to the boat. That view is so straight on that we don’t get to see the ferro at the front of the boat, so I don’t know if the artist got it right. But kudos for many of the other details!

As for the gondolier, he’s wearing his striped shirt, his slacks (wrong color–nowadays they should be black), and his iconic hat. Nicely done! He also has a sash around his waist, as modern gondoliers do not wear, but they did in the past. This cartoon is a fantasy scene, so this detail is entirely permissible.

The gondolier rows Rose down a number of canals, by the Rialto Bridge, past houses with a nice variety of Venetian details. Balconies! Potted plants! Even a palina! (That’s the pole where boats tie up.) Did anyone else notice the three arches that he rows past? I’m impressed that the artist would have paid attention to this particular building and have included it here. Who can tell me what it is? 🙂

About seductivevenice

Teacher, writer, traveler, dancer, reader, photographer, gardener.
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4 Responses to Cartoon Analysis

  1. Bert says:

    I would hazard a guess that it is the fire-station near Ca’ Foscari. The arches in the cartoon seem a bit too high, but it could be at low tide.
    I like “The gondolier rows Rose …” Reminds me that a Rose is a rows is a rose that rose to the occasion.

  2. Aha! I knew you’d have fun with this one! Yes, I believe the artist is drawing the fire station. Do you know of any other place where there are three arches like that?

  3. Bert says:

    There are more than three arches at the fire-station, but I don’t know of another place that would suit.

  4. Nancy Schwalen says:

    I saw this in the sunday paper a few weeks ago and immediately thought of you but forgot to clip it. I’m glad you found it.

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