Schiavoni Stairs

Italo De Grandi | Undated
Watercolour on paper | 26 x 35 cm
Period 1969-1984: The beauty of the world
Inventory IDG-716 | Private
collection Photo L'Atelier De Grandi


Artistic features


The velvety absence of the monumental spaces in the intimacy of the Venetian winter.

Italo here captures a space where the light emanates from the architecture itself, restoring its seasonal intimacy in the absence of the hordes of tourists.


Diagonal dichotomy

This work is composed of two balanced parts, separated by a diagonal running from the bottom of the staircase on the right to the top of the pediment on the top left. The thick mist therefore weighs as much as the monumental architecture.


Watercolour on paper

Watercolour lends itself doubly to the subject matter of this work. It allows you to work very quickly, and therefore to capture the atmosphere of a particular moment. And its colours are essentially transparent, the water facilitating a distribution of pigments on the paper, so as to reflect the light directly, thus capturing a certain luminosity, even diffuse.


Dominant: 8813164

Two ranges of colours, barely differentiated: one diaphanous (the mist), the other similar but of darker value, as if the architectures were of the same family as this pervasive mist.



Thick mist, imposing here a uniform lighting, without orientation, without shadow. The shapes are not defined by contrast but by their density.



1969-1984: The beauty of the world

Since 1978, Italo has been staying in Venice every winter, attracted by the infinite variations in the relationships between stone, water and sky, by the silent whims of the mists or the musical transparency of the air. He brings back armfuls of serene or tragic watercolours, sumptuous and delicate, enigmatic or merrily delighted at the fleeting moment, in which the threat of the impermanence of the city eaten away by erosion slides out of time.

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Schiavoni Stairs