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1797 and onwards

Just Another Provincial Capital

Acqua Alta in St Mark's Square

Continued from A Decline to Remember

I will have no more Inquisition, no more Senate. I will be an Attila to the Venetian state.Napoleon

What was it about Venice that made the little fellow so mad? Was it the brute’s contempt for weakness or his basic instinct to vandalize things he did not understand – or was it simply that Napoleonic types cannot stand the idea of people who refuse to drill and salute and who insist on the right to enjoy themselves?

Whatever the reason, Napoleon went after Venice and its symbols with a greater relish than he showed for any of his other conquests: contractors were paid to chop down all the evangelical lions (in Venice itself they took the money but never did the work); the horses of St Mark’s were removed to Paris; the French even burned the doges’ state barge, the glorious Bucintoro.

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History and Anecdotes

Art from the 1800s to the present

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Images by Dan Davison, JoMa, Wikipedia, Public Domain, Unofeld781 et al, Creative Commons License