100. Farewell - for now
If you are one of the small handful of people who visited this site regularly over the last few months, and have enjoyed my daily stories of all things Venetian, then I am sorry if that disappoints you.
I enjoy writing about this wonderful place. I have never found it difficult to find ideas enough to stay four or five posts ahead of my self-imposed daily deadline, but the thinking and writing and checking and rewriting does take more time than may be apparent from the results, and I now want to devote that time to something different but related – at least for a while.
I'll leave you for now with another, less common, view of the magnificent Doge's Palace.
On each of the three visible corners of the upper gallery is a beautiful archangel. More Renaissance in style than Gothic, the sculptures of Raphael, Michael, and Gabriel must have been added later – probably after the 16th century fire.
This one is Gabriel. In Christianity, it was Gabriel who told Mary (and Joseph) she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit – which is why he is seen here with an Annunciation lily in his left hand; in Islam, it was Gabriel who revealed the Q'uran to Muhammed and accompanied him during his post mortem ascension into heaven; in Judaism, Gabriel was the force that prevented Abraham from slaying Isaac, and told Noah to get the animals into the Ark; and it will be Gabriel who blows his horn to announce Judgment Day (presumably a non-denominational event).
I think this exquisite sculpture is exactly what an angel ought to look like. Don't you agree?