Whatever artistic spirit remained at the end of the 18th century evaporated after Napoleon. More was demolished than built in the 19th century – 49 churches bit the dust, and the splendid art that adorned them was dispersed to various galleries or simply destroyed.
One of the few names to drift down is that of Gian Antonio Selva, designer of La Fenice opera house. Foreigners such as Turner drifted in to paint the city, while John Ruskin wrote his Stones of Venice, which to his dismay didn’t educate his readers in the glories and pitfalls of architecture as much as begin a trend for ogival arches in Manchester.
But thousands were inspired to come and see the real thing, and when sea bathing became popular, the Lido was developed with its outrageous eclectic hotels, notably the Grand Hôtel des Bains—the setting for Thomas Mann's Death in Venice (1912). Another attraction was the great international art exhibits of the Biennale, inaugurated in 1895, and still one of the most prestigious in Europe. Over the years the Biennale would spawn offshoots in music, film and most recently architecture that bring visitors back over and over again.
Image by Seier & Seier, Creative Commons License