Today was Tintoretto day, so let’s talk about arguably the most influential Italian painter in the history of Renaissance art. Before embarking on this study abroad trip, my knowledge of Tintoretto was very limited, meaning that I pretty much had only ever heard his name in passing and knew that he had painted the Last Supper. It turns out that he has painted much more than just the Last Supper and was commissioned to do the bulk of the paintings for Scuola Grande di San Rocco. Tintoretto spent his life in Venice, so it’s fitting that he basically has his own museum in his hometown. The Venetian people are very proud of this grandmaster artist and it shows. Tintoretto appears to be one of the kings of the heterotopia of Venice. His artwork depicts chilling scenes like the crucifixion, St. Mark’s body being brought to Venice, and the siege of Asola.
We spent most of today in Scuola Grande di San Rocco and when we weren’t there, we were wandering the Venetian streets with Professor Gregory Dowling learning more about Tintoretto and the hidden secrets of Venice. He showed us some quirky things like an alarm clock that’s attached to the side of a building and a rose window on the back side of a church. It was refreshing to trod off of the beaten path and see some things that I would’ve never noticed before. Seeing this little hidden gems helps constitute what I have mentioned in previous blog posts when I said I feel less like a tourist and more like a traveler now.
I think of a tourist as a person who visits a country or city with very little knowledge of the culture or traditions and leaves with pretty much the same amount of knowledge and just a bunch of pictures. A traveler goes out of their way to fully immerse themselves in the culture and traditions of wherever they’re visiting. They go beyond just briefly visiting, they aim for comprehension and understanding. Travelers go on to share their adventures and knowledge with others after they return from their trip. They go beyond simply visiting a place and then leaving.
After my time in Venice is complete, I hope to have a better understanding of Venetian culture, traditions, and way of life. I want to share with others the beauty and quirks of the Venetian culture. I’ve already learned so much just in my five days here, I can only imagine what I could learn from a semester or year here. There will never be enough time to spend in Venice.
Once we finished with the walking Tintoretto tour and Scuola Grande di San Rocco, we went to the da Vinci museum before having the afternoon to ourselves for further exploration of the city on our own. This free time gave our little group time to explore some of the campi that we hadn’t seen yet. My personal favorite is Campo Santa Maria Zobenigo. I love the church built by Guiseppe Sardi. The outside is grand and immediately captures your attention when first walking into the campo. This campo also has a quaint little flower shop tucked away in one corner that added a neat touch. Day five in Venice was a smashing success.