Tag Archives Montmartre

CITY OF ART

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There are the Biennale’s Big Beasts, of course –

this year David Hockney’s ’82 Portraits

and 1 Still Life’ at the Ca’ Pesaro (each

painted in three days) and, at Palazzo

Grassi and Punta Della Dogana,

Damien Hirst’s ‘Treasures from the Wreck

of the Unbelievable’, which took ten years –

the pavilions in the Giardini

and the Arsenale; the freebies

in rented palaces and tenements.

 

And there are the abiding grand masters,

the Titians, Tinterettos, Tiepolos,

displayed in salons and basilicas;

the Bible transubstantiated into

oils and canvas, Latin verses made flesh.

 

And poor, visiting geniuses opting

for elsewhere – like Modigliani who stayed

five years near the Accademia

then chose the avant-garde Montmartre,

and whose ‘La Femme en Blouse Marine’

hangs in the Guggenheim Gallery

on the Grand Canal, worth seven figures.

 

This is a city of stratagems, opulence,

dissembling – each turn of a corner,

each slap of water on bricks in a canal;

no place for penniless innocents,

no place for those without reputations;

mercantile, mercenary, magnificent;

an improbable, floating metropolis.

 

 

 

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