This lavishly illustrated book is devoted to some of the most striking doors in Venice: striking either because of their age and design, or because of their sad state of neglect.
Doors are often beautiful in themselves. In addition, they are entry points, and are therefore symbols of shelter, warmth, home, and other comforts. A door’s handles, knockers, and other furniture, also have both practical and symbolic purposes.
It is always the case that at least some thought has been devoted to the design of any given door, and the design gives us an insight into the minds of the builder and subsequent owners. The present condition of the door – whether immaculate or dilapidated – provides an indication of the building’s history. And, finally, one is reminded, when looking at doors in Venice, of both the age of the city and of its long struggle against the sea: there is an almost complete absence of right-angles, and water often laps dangerously close.
Michael Allen is retired, and now pursues various eccentric interests and enthusiasms.