Friday, October 14, 2011


In May of 2008, Sunset Gondola launched two beautiful gondolas, which had been purchased from gondoliers in Venice, Italy.
The two boats were classic examples of what you'll find on the canals of modern day Venezia - each boat has character, decor, and personal touches that represent the guy who either owns the boat or commissioned her.

One of those two gondolas had a strikingly unique portela, with a custom carving of Neptune (Nettuno) weilding a trident and riding two dolphins.
Neptune - "the god of the sea", is essentially the Roman version of the ancient Greek Poseidon.  There are a few differences, but the two gods are generally viewed today as Greek and Roman versions of the same diety.
He tends to carry a trident, wears a crown, has a beard, and has a physique somewhere between Stallone and Schwarzenegger - a "king of the deep" who knows how to take care of business.
In case you're not familiar with the polytheistic beliefs of the ancients - rent "The Little Mermaid" - he's Ariel's father.

Getting back to the portela,
The paint on the carvings was good, but Tim Reinard could always tell that it could be better.

Portela and trasto da prova show bold use of colors.

Like so many things on the to-do list, I'm sure this one became one among many tasks to be completed, but unlike me, Tim actually did the work, and it looks great.
The restored "Nettuno portela".
photo by Tim Reinard

In fact I'd say that the "god of the sea" never looked so good.
Bravo, Tim!

To read more about the historic launching in May of 2008, check out:
Two New Sunset Gondolas - Container
Two New Sunset Gondolas - Hoisting and dipping
Two New Sunset Gondolas - Dockside Preparations
Two New Sunset Gondolas - Making History and Getting Wet
Two Great Gondolas from Two Great Builders


Tamás said...

One thing comes to mind. I don't know if the portela counts as a "coat of arms", but european heraldry has always had extremely strict rules about the acceptable colour and pattern combinations.

The original job probably didn't carry enough oomph for the gondola, but maybe that was because the design had to comply with heraldry rules or venetian sumptuary code. The artisans could probably do better, if unencumbered.

Luckily USA doesn't have nobility and the assorted bag of feudal past to carry, so you can do better in the visuals department and really make the gondola stand out.

Gondola Sean said...

I consider myself "Nobility"

Bepi Venexiano said...

Ya, but, Tamas, do you like it?