The best artist has that thought alone Which is contained within the marble shell; The sculptor’s hand can only break the spell To free the figures slumbering in the stone. – Michelangelo

In Europe, art is everywhere — in the architecture, in paintings and frescoes, in statues and sculptures, even in the arrangement of cobblestones in the sidewalks. It is one of the elements that makes Europe its own. Every corner and door handle are inspired, it seems. Art is the air which that continent breathes.

One of my favorite places in Europe is Venice, which I’ve written about several times. When my family and I traveled to Venice from Prague, we stayed on estates outside the city in the Veneto region. Not only was staying outside Venice far less expensive, but since the Veneto is known for its wines, vineyard estates, and its longtime grandeur, the Veneto is an experience in itself.

Our first visit, we stayed at Montecchia, an estate near Padua, west of Venice in the Veneto. (I wrote about it here: The Charm of Italy’s Veneto Region.) The second visit, we stayed at Brandolini-Rota, in Cordignano, north of Venice at the foot of the Alps.

The estate was beautiful, stunningly so. The estate produces Fruili wine, harvested from its fields and stored in the on-site 18th century barchessa cellars. The vintner let us tour their facility and taste the wines. Bella!

But even more, the Brandolini-Rota estate is filled with surprising 1600s statuary throughout its extensive grounds. Like the estate Villa, which I imagine was once impressive and well cared for, the statues are now neglected. Yet even after 400 years of weather and wear, they speak.

Art and Sculpture in the Veneto, Italy: a Photojournal

the Villa at Brandolini-Rota, Veneto, Italy

the Villa at Brandolini-Rota, Veneto, Italy

 

the Villa at Brandolini-Rota

the Villa at Brandolini-Rota

More than 48 statues stand along the lanes throughout Brandolini-Rota. In the photograph above, you can see a few at the right.

A few of my favorite statues from Brandolini-Rota, accompanied by a few of my favorite quotes on the importance of art …

Brandolini-Rota statue

Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Brandolini Rota statue

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious – the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”- Albert Einstein

 

Brandolini Rota statue
“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.” – Émile Zola

Brandolini Rota statue
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” – Thomas Merton

Brandolini Rota statue
“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”- Pablo Picasso

Brandolini Rota statue
“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”- Edgar Degas

Brandolini Rota statue
“Art never responds to the wish to make it democratic; it is not for everybody; it is only for those who are willing to undergo the effort needed to understand it.” – Flannery O’Connor

Brandolini Rota statue

an artful twist of decay and beauty, Veneto, Italy

an artful twist of decay and beauty, Veneto, Italy

“A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.”- Ansel Adams

the Barchessa I loved

the Barchessa I loved

 

These photographs, I discovered recently while writing on the four years I lived in Prague and on the twenty-three countries we traveled while there. I’m delighted to have found them, and to get to share them with you here. Have a wonderful week! and a beautiful Advent season.

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