Saturday, January 17, 2009

POSTCARD HISTORY LESSON - A View of Life on the Canal - Way Back When

This may very well be my favorite postcard of them all.
It's the only one I keep framed and on display at home.

The image is a classic example of the monochrome photo that's been colorized. This was a popular process that gave us a multitude of great postcards before the full-color-process was developed.

The centerpiece is supposed to be the Rialto Bridge, but that's not why I keep studying the image (I probably look at this card two or three times a day). It's all the boating activity that makes the card special.

I often wonder what the two guys are talking about in the mascareta. The guy in front has turned to his left to look back at the popier, who is leaning forward as if he's listening intently.

The guy in the foreground is standing in the only motorized boat in the shot. He's probably the captain, but he isn't currently steering (he's on the wrong side of the console for that).
Our captain seems to have a pipe in his mouth and is the only one in the shot who knows he's being photographed.

To the right, we see two vaporetto platforms and a gondola disappearing between them into an area that is still a mooring place for our favorite boats. The gondolier seems to be leaning forward as if he's wondering "who the heck is in my spot?"

Then there are some other boats in the background - gondolas and other types.

I like this postcard because it's a snapshot of life on the Grand Canal long ago. I'm not sure when it was taken, but it sure wasn't as crowded then as it is today.

1 comment:

René Seindal said...

The water surface is incredibly placid compared with the situation today. Its a lot more lively today thanks to all the motorized boats and the moto ondoso.