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Canon David Lickess “The Art of Venice & Padua”

This was the talk that should have been given last year, if problems with the projector had not occurred,  that obliged David to give an impromptu, but brilliant, alternative talk.  Therefore, Canon Lickess requires no introduction.

As prophesied, his talk was profusely illustrated with many stunning photographs taken on his numerous visits to Venice & Padua.  Also, he revealed some surprising facts; it has 177 canals & 118 islands, also, the railway did not come to Venice until 1846 & a road until 1933.

The history of Venice is long & chequered, from its origins more than1000 years ago as an important port, trading across the whole of the eastern Mediterranean, through centuries of wealth & power under the Doges, the centre of the Christian „Renaissance‟, decimation by the „black death‟& finally eclipse by other European powers. David‟s talk concentrated on its golden years as the centre for art & culture.

The canals make Venice unique, with few bridges across the Grand Canal, travel is predominantly by boat, by gondola ( expensive ) or water bus( vaporetti ).  The architecture is on the grand scale designed by Palladio & others, with world famous sites such as the Piazza St Marco ( St Mark‟s square ) & its campanile,  the Doge‟s palace, the „Bridge of Sighs‟ ,the church of San Giorgio Maggiore, the list is endless.  Equally long is the list of artists based in Venice; Giovanni Bellini, Gentile Bellini, Titian, Tintoretto, Canaletto, Guardi to name but a few. David‟s pictures illustrated the magnificence of the Venetian heritage.

Finally, David spoke about Padua, a city but half an hour by train from Venice, with its world famous University, the home of Galileo. Like Venice it has magnificent buildings & works of art ,including the fresco „The Last Judgement‟ by Giotto in the Scrovegni Chapel, the frescoes in the Palazzo della Ragione, the Basilica of St Anthony & the Padua synagogue.

A vote of thanks was proposed by Mervin Davies