One of London’s trendiest and innocuous restaurants, hidden away in Soho, POLPO, serves up dishes straight from the back streets of Venice. Russell Norman is the creator of these acclaimed dishes from the most romantic of Italian cities, and has released his book named after his restaurant so we too can create dishes such as, zucchini shoestring fries or rabbit cacciatore. The book, POLPO: A Venetian Cookbook (of sorts) has been named as Waterstones book of the year and currently costs £20 (and is on my Christmas list!) So today I’m inspired, by all things Venetian…
Venice is a city in the north east of Italy sited on a group of 118 small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges; listed as a whole as a World Heritage Site, it is renowned for its beauty, architecture and artworks as well as producing, arguably the most refined, Rococo design.
This, very decadent, period in design history produced excessively opulent carved beds, beautiful Girandole mirrors, Murano glass chandeliers, Chinoiserie bureaus and the divani da portego (a long couch) and pozzetti (objects to be placed against the wall) unique to the city, examples below,
The Venetian Rococo era was around the late 18th century following Baroque, it is sometimes referred to as the ‘late Baroque’ period. Rococo came first from France, and the word Rococo is from the French ‘rocaille’ meaning ‘rock’ and from the word ‘barocco’ meaning misshapen pearl’. The movement began artistically between the Poussinistes and the Rubenistes as they argued the importance of drawing versus colour. Antoine Watteau is thought of as the first Rococo painter, followed by Francois Boucher who became a master of the style as did, Jean-Honore Fragonard. At its height around 1730 and the reign of Louis XV in France: the style began to spread across Europe, and Italy where the style came into its own in Venice.
Venice at this time was very much the ‘fashion capital’ of Italy and took the style and created its own unique furniture, as mentioned above.
It would appear that both its food and rococo era furniture are having a revival at the moment, so why not incorporate a little Venetian glamour into your home. Venetian mirrors are an easy place to start with prices starting around £150 to upwards of £11,000 for large elaborate examples. We have a large number of dealers at Antique for Sale who would be happy to help, if you find something you like then you can get in touch with the dealer directly with any questions, or you can contact me via e-mail, twitter or Facebook.
Also see Antiques Guide to Chairs