A Peek into the Past


A vaporetto from bygone days

A reader recently shared this link from the Telegraph. Check out the Venice of a hundred plus years ago. Some are black and white only, while others are hand tinted.

21 Photos of Early Venice

I’m trying to make sense of this one: the Church of San Moise. I know that bridge very well and have crossed it hundreds of times. The building right up against it seems too close, or does it only appear that way because of the awnings? Maybe it’s something about the angle that makes the campo in front of the church appear too tiny.


But this is my favorite, particularly since I recently met Marisa Convento and have developed a keener interest in Venetian bead stringers, the impirarese. It’s hard to see the details, but it appears that the women have the shallow, shovel-shaped wooden trays on their laps that were filled with beads to be strung. As Marisa taught me, this was usually women’s work done in the campi near their homes. If these women are not stringing beads, then what else do you think they’re doing? It’s not making lace because they don’t have the tombola on their laps….


These are only three of 21 photos. Enjoy the rest as you travel back in time today!

About seductivevenice

Teacher, writer, traveler, dancer, reader, photographer, gardener.
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1 Response to A Peek into the Past

  1. On a similar tangent they recently (re)discovered some very early images (daguerreotypes) collected by art critic and all round polymath John Ruskin.


    He frequently packaged off artists to record Venice in paint (or to get plaster casts of little bits of decorations he liked!) but obviously had the foresight to embrace early photography too. I can’t imagine that he took them himself but merely secured the services of others to do it for him. Nevertheless an impressive store of images (now in an impressively expensive book.)

    I love the laundry one.

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