Light, the way it bleaches or caresses with soft golden touches, changes between continent, country and city. Ethereal and enchanting, the light of Venice might be characterised by its changeability. During the day it is often piercing as it refracts into scintillating mosaics on the water, while at dusk the rose sunset is mirrored, resplendent on the glossy lagoon surface.
“Every hour of the day is a miracle of light. In summer with daybreak the rising sun produces such a tender magic on the water that it nearly breaks one’s heart.” Peggy Guggenheim
The light of Venice is elusive and illusionary, its character is bound to the water which creates an infinite series of reflections, multiplying and falsifying the light.
“Sunlight on a canal is reflected up through a window on to the ceiling, then from the ceiling on to a vase, and from the vase on to a glass or a silver bowl. Which is the real sunlight? Which is the real reflection?” John Berendt, The City of Falling Angels
Perhaps only the flickering flames of a furnace reflected on rippling Murano glass can capture the dynamism of light here.
The play of light and water creates kaleidoscopic ever-changing colours. Sometimes the piazze are drenched in sun becoming a bright white, while other times a murky canal dims and chills a narrow street.
“… the sea flows through, grasping the city like tendrils of vine, and, depending upon the light, making alleys and avenues of emerald and sapphire… ” Mark Helprin,
A rainy day in Venice brings so many delights, as it provides yet another shimmering reflective surface.
And what of the early morning mists, shrouding the domes of San Marco and obscuring all that lies out to sea beyond the piazza. The sun weakly filters through beginning to dance on the water.
“What is true? What is not true? The answer is not so simple, because the truth can change. I can change. You can change. That is the Venice effect.” John Berendt, The City of Falling Angels