GENOA, ITALY
«23-27Oct»

Photos © Ruud Leeuw

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The name GENOVA, according to a Roman legend, originated from the Roman god Janus ("Giano" in Italian), protector god of all passageways, including the door to one's home or the gates of a city.
This theory has some support in the importance that the Genoese placed on the entrances to their homes: every doorway was decorated with a bas-relief, often with a scene depicting Catholic saints.

Historical surveys place the birth of the city at around the 3rd century B.C.
Genoa, a Roman port, was destroyed in the Punic Wars, and then reconstructed as a military base for the war against the Carthaginians. During the late Roman Empire, and in the High Medieval period, Genoa suffered invasions from the north, and then came under the domination of the Byzantines, the Lombards, and the Franks.

The Medieval period was the first great period of the city.
In the 11th century, Genoa became an oligarchic Republic, governed by councils chosen from the various aristocratic families who divide up the city. As a result of this type of government, which guaranteed the interests of the highest-ranked in society, Genoa expanded its territorial possessions throughout nearly 5 centuries, both in the form of commercial markets and actual colonies. The crusades also helped Genoa secure its role as the maritime leader in the Mediterranean during the centuries to follow.

 

Acquario do Genova | Genoa's Aquarium
Acquario do Genova | Genoa's Aquarium

'The Genoa Aquarium is the largest in Europe with 71 water tanks that are home to over 12.000 animals of 600 species.
Visitors get a chance to meet amazing sea animals. From rare marine mammals such as manatees to the great predators of the sea — sharks, you will encounter a diverse range of marine animals.
Watch the penguins waddle and dolphins splash.
Genoa Aquarium is the only facility in Europe to keep seals, jellyfish, tropical fish, and other species in an environment that replicates their natural habitat.
The Acquario Di Genova is housed in the Old Port of Genoa.' [¬ Website]

Acquario do Genova | Genoa's Aquarium
Some really ugly fish...

Acquario do Genova | Genoa's Aquarium
She points to a Moray eel.
When feeding, morays launch their jaws into the mouth cavity, where they grasp prey and transport it into the throat.
Morays are opportunistic, carnivorous predators and feed primarily on smaller fish, crabs, and octopuses.
A spotted moray eel has been observed eating a red lionfish without harm. [¬Wikipedia]

Acquario do Genova | Genoa's Aquarium

Acquario do Genova | Genoa's Aquarium

Acquario do Genova | Genoa's Aquarium
Both eyes on one side, swimming through the water horizontally. A bit weird.

Acquario do Genova | Genoa's Aquarium

Acquario do Genova | Genoa's Aquarium

Acquario do Genova | Genoa's Aquarium

Acquario do Genova | Genoa's Aquarium

Sawfish, also known as carpenter sharks, are a family of rays characterized by a long, narrow, flattened rostrum, or nose extension, lined with sharp transverse teeth, arranged in a way that resembles a saw.
They are among the largest fish with some species reaching lengths of about 7–7.6 m (23–25 ft).
They are found worldwide in tropical and subtropical regions in coastal marine and brackish estuarine waters, as well as freshwater rivers and lakes. They are also endangered!
They should not be confused with sawsharks (order Pristiophoriformes) or the extinct sclerorhynchoids (order Rajiformes) which have a similar appearance, or swordfish (family Xiphiidae) which have a similar name but a very different appearance. [¬Wikipedia]

Acquario do Genova | Genoa's Aquarium

Acquario do Genova | Genoa's Aquarium
The zebra shark

The zebra shark has a cylindrical body with a large, slightly flattened head and a short, blunt snout. The eyes are small and placed on the sides of the head.
The zebra shark has a cylindrical body with a large, slightly flattened head and a short, blunt snout. The eyes are small and placed on the sides of the head.
The caudal fin is almost as long as the rest of the body, with a barely developed lower lobe and a strong ventral notch near the tip of the upper lobe. The zebra shark attains a length of 2.5 m (8.2 ft), with an unsubstantiated record of 3.5 m (11 ft).
The caudal fin, or tail fin, is located at the end of a fish and provides the power to move a fish forward. It also acts like a rudder to help a fish steer. Caudal fins come in a variety of shapes – forked, heart-shaped, square or rounded. The shape corresponds to the cruising speed of the fish. [¬Wikipedia]

Acquario do Genova | Genoa's Aquarium

The zebra shark occurs in the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region, from South Africa to the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf (including Madagascar and the Maldives), to India and Southeast Asia (including Indonesia, the Philippines, and Palau), northward to Taiwan and Japan, eastward to New Caledonia and Tonga, and southward to northern Australia.
The zebra shark feeds primarily on shelled molluscs, though it also takes crustaceans, small bony fishes, and possibly sea snakes.
The slender, flexible body of this shark allows it to wriggle into narrow holes and crevices in search of food, while its small mouth and thickly muscled buccal cavity allow it to create a powerful suction force with which to extract prey.
This species may be preyed upon by larger fishes (notably other larger sharks) and marine mammals.
Wikipedia]

 

Acquario do Genova | Genoa's Aquarium

Acquario do Genova | Genoa's Aquarium

Acquario do Genova | Genoa's Aquarium

Acquario do Genova | Genoa's Aquarium

Acquario do Genova | Genoa's Aquarium

Acquario do Genova | Genoa's Aquarium

Acquario do Genova | Genoa's Aquarium


 

More on GENOA's history:
The alliance between the Genoese Admiral Andrea Doria and the Spanish Empire of Carlo V, in 1528, inaugurated the Golden Age of Genoa, during which the Genoese enjoyed great success throughout Europe, thanks to large-scale financial investments.
The construction of sumptuous palazzos and magnificent villas also began during this period.

From the 17th century on, Genoa started a period of decline, and fell under the dominion of various European powers. In 1815, the Congress of Vienna ruled that the ancient Republic of Genoa be annexed to the Kingdom of Savoy, which several decades later became part of a united Italy.
It was from Genoa that Garibaldi started his expedition of the Thousand, which would eventually lead to the constitution of the Kingdom of Italy.

Between the 19th and 20th centuries, Genoa experienced great urban development, assuming the role of industrial and port center within the industrial triangle of Genoa, Milan, and Turin.
In the 1960's the population of Genoa doubled in size from the first half of the century. And yet its position as the great industrial city fell into crisis in the 1980's, when the model of traditional development based on large, state-sponsored industry became less relevant.
Today, the port of Genoa has reassumed its position as one of the most important port cities in the Mediterranean. 
Il Porto Antico (the Old Port), reconstructed in 1992 by Renzo Piano, was transformed into a tourist attraction, the motor of a new tourist industry that has enveloped the entire city.


 

M.C. Escher in Palazzo Ducale (Genova)
The Doge's Palace (Italian: Palazzo Ducale) is a historical building in Genoa, northern Italy. Once the home of the Doges of Genoa, it is now a museum and a centre for cultural events and arts exhibitions. It is situated in the heart of the city, with two different entrances and façades, the main one on Piazza Matteotti, and the second one on Piazza De Ferrari.
M.C. Escher in Palazzo Ducale (Genova)

M.C. Escher in Palazzo Ducale (Genova)

M.C. Escher in Palazzo Ducale (Genova)

'Palazzo Ducale here in Genoa is hosting (09Sep2021 - 20Feb22) the largest and most complete anthological exhibition dedicated to the great Dutch genius Maurits Cornelis Escher, today one of the most globally loved artists whose impossible worlds have entered the collective imagination, making him a true icon of the modern art world.
With more than 200 works and his most representative works, such as Hand with Reflecting Sphere (1935), Bond of Union (1956), Metamorphosis II (1939), Day and Night (1938) and the 'Emblemata series', the exhibition presents in 8 sections an excursus of his entire and wide-ranging artistic production.

For the first time in Genoa, the public will be able to experience Escher's imaginative universe through unprecedented immersive rooms and impossible structures that will be compared with works by great visionary artists such as Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720 - 1778) and Victor Vasarely (1906 - 1997).
Between art, science, physics, nature and design, the Escher exhibition is an unique event to get to know more about a restless, reserved but brilliant artist and to actively measure oneself against the many paradoxes of perspective, geometry and composition that lie at the heart of his works and that still continue to inspire generations of new artists in every field.'

M.C. Escher in Palazzo Ducale (Genova)

'Promoted and organised by Palazzo Ducale Fondazione per la Cultura and Arthemisia, in collaboration with the M. C. Escher Foundation, the exhibition is curated by Mark Veldhuysen - M. C. Escher Company's CEO - and Federico Giudiceandrea - one of the world's leading Escher experts.

A visit must be made in compliance with the latest ministerial provisions (DL 105/2021), the access to the museum will be only possible with EU Digital Covid certiticate ('Green Pass') to be shown to the staff at the museum entry.'

M.C. Escher in Palazzo Ducale (Genova)

M.C. Escher in Palazzo Ducale (Genova)

M.C. Escher in Palazzo Ducale (Genova)

M.C. Escher in Palazzo Ducale (Genova)
Firenze | San Gimignano | Ravello | Siena | Viareggio | Frascati |
Roma | Vitorchiano | Scanno | Castrovalva | Tropea | Scilla | Pentedatillo
Rosano Calabro | Morano | Rocca Imperiale | Palermo | Venezia | Catania

M.C. Escher in Palazzo Ducale (Genova)

M.C. Escher in Palazzo Ducale (Genova)

M.C. Escher in Palazzo Ducale (Genova)
There is a quality of Japanese woodblock printing here, in my humble opinion. As in the 'Scilla, Calabria' frame,
fortified palazzo behind a tree, further down.

M.C. Escher in Palazzo Ducale (Genova)


M.C. Escher in Palazzo Ducale (Genova)

M.C. Escher in Palazzo Ducale (Genova)

Escher was born in 1898 in the Netherlands. Beginning in childhood, he suffered from various diseases and underperformed at school, partially due to the illness.
The introverted artist was also constantly troubled by social anxiety. Despite these difficulties, he made many friends, built a family, and found his career path as an artist.
Escher also moved multiple times in his life. He lived in Rome from 1923 to 1935, when he and his family were forced to relocate due to the illness of Escher’s two children and the rising Fascism in Italy.
Afterward, the family spent several years in Switzerland and Belgium, and moved back to the Netherlands in 1941. Before eventually settling down in the Netherlands, Escher also took time for extensive travel in the search of artistic inspiration.
www.illustrationhistory.org/essays/the-hidden-emotions-in-m.c-eschers-artwork


M.C. Escher in Palazzo Ducale (Genova)
'Tassellations' explained, Escher's Moorish connection.

M.C. Escher in Palazzo Ducale (Genova)

M.C. Escher in Palazzo Ducale (Genova)
'Metamorphoses', where abstract shapes change into animated forms.

M.C. Escher in Palazzo Ducale (Genova)

M.C. Escher in Palazzo Ducale (Genova)

M.C. Escher in Palazzo Ducale (Genova)

M.C. Escher in Palazzo Ducale (Genova)
'Hands with reflecting sphere' (Escher's self portrait)

M.C. Escher in Palazzo Ducale (Genova)
'Hands have a history of their own, they have, indeed, their own civilization, their special beauty.' ¬Rilke

M.C. Escher in Palazzo Ducale (Genova)

M.C. Escher in Palazzo Ducale (Genova)

M.C. Escher in Palazzo Ducale (Genova)

M.C. Escher in Palazzo Ducale (Genova)
The art of M.C. Escher


Getting the hang of my recently acquired Leica M-P (typ 240) w/ Voigtländer 35/2.5 lens (rangefinder focussing)

SHORT HISTORY
'After the Battle of Meloria against the Republic of Pisa and the Battle of Curzola against Venice, both fought at the end of the 13th century, Genoa became the superpower of the Tyrrhenian Sea and the economic leader of the region. Therefore, during those times, the city felt the need for a sumptuous representative palace and, in 1298, the building of the Doge’s Palace begun.
Palazzo Ducale was built around the palace of Alberto Fieschi, with its Torre del Popolo (Tower of the People), which forms the original core of the complex.
The Tower became one of the symbols of political power of Genoa, and the tolls of its bell announced the most solemn and tragic moments of the city. Starting with the 14th century, the Tower of the People became a dungeon for political prisoners, conspirators and anarchists, and remained a prison until the 20th century.
The palace was named Ducale in 1339, when it became the seat of the first Genoese Doge, Simon Boccanegra. Between the 14th and the 15th century, the palace was enlarged with new buildings, and Piazza Matteotti was almost completely enclosed.
In the 16th century, the palace was renovated in Renaissance style by the architect Andrea Ceresola, called Il Vannone. He built a grand entrance hall flanked by two porticoed courtyards, a large stairway that leads to two logge on the piano nobile. Here, we can find the famous Doge’s Chapel, frescoed by Giovanni Battista Carlone in the 17th century, to commemorate personalities such as Guglielmo Embriaco and Cristoforo Colombo.
In 1777, a fire partially destroyed the building, and the palace was rebuilt in Neoclassical style by the Swiss architect Simone Cantoni.
During the 19th and the 20th century, other renovations were made. In 1992, after a complex restoration, the palace was reopened to the public.'

M.C. Escher in Palazzo Ducale (Genova)
Palazzo Ducale, which may (or may not) have something to do with the spheres I came across in the city.


 

Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno (Genoa)
Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno (Genoa)

'The design of the cemetery of the City of Genoa dates back to Napoleon's Edict of Saint-Cloud from 1804, when he forbade burials in churches and towns.
The original project was approved in 1835 by the City's architect Carlo Barabino (1768–1835). However, he died the same year as a result of the cholera epidemic that struck the city and the project passed to his assistant and pupil Giovanni Battista Resasco (1798–1871).
Part of the south-eastern hillside of Staglieno was acquired for the cemetery.
The site of the Villa Vaccarezza was chosen as the most suitable, being both sparsely populated and close to the centre of the city. Work began in 1844 and it was opened on 02Jan1851.
On that day there were four burials.

Over time there were several extensions and the cemetery now includes sections for an English cemetery, a Protestant one and a Jewish one.
At the time Genoa was a major centre of learning within Italy and attracted reformists and an affluent bourgeoisie. Wishing to place long-lasting memorials to remember their work and moral accomplishments, they developed a tradition of funereal sculpture, particularly realistic works, to be placed with their tombs.' [¬Wikipedia]

Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno (Genoa)

Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno (Genoa)

'The cemetery contains the graves of Oscar Wilde's wife Constance Lloyd, Ferruccio Parri, Fabrizio De André, and Giuseppe Mazzini.
Significant sculptors with work there include (a.o) Leonardo Bistolfi, Augusto Rivalta, Giulio Monteverde, and Vittorio Lavezzari.

The strong British influence in the city of Genoa in the late 19th century is reflected in the separate British Cemetery at Staglieno which contains the graves of British and Commonwealth servicemen from both the First and Second World Wars.
There are 230 from the First, (during which period there were 3 British military hospitals in the area) and 122 from the Second.

Mark Twain briefly praises the cemetery in his 1869 book Innocents Abroad, and Friedrich Nietzsche visited the cemetery frequently in the 1880s with his friend Paul Ree and had many long philosophical discussions as they strolled through the funereal colonnades.' [¬Wikipedia]


Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno (Genoa)

Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno (Genoa)

Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno (Genoa)

Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno (Genoa)
Interesting: Staglieno was the subject of a 2003 book of photographs by famous photographer Lee Friedlander.
In that same year, a smaller selection of Friedlander's Staglieno photographs were published by the LeRoy Neiman
Center for Print Studies, Columbia University, in a limited edition set of photogravures. The portfolio case of
the project was bound in red coffin velvet to enhance the memorial effect of the project.

Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno (Genoa)

Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno (Genoa)

Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno (Genoa)

Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno (Genoa)

Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno (Genoa)
Note the ceiling under restoration.

Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno (Genoa)

Cimitero Monumentale di Staglieno (Genoa)
Shine a light: battery powered for c.24 hours and probably placed here for reuse with fresh batteries.


 
This concludes my Genoa 2021 report, three pages documenting what my roving eyes fascinated: art & culture, history
plus street photography. I did not leave as euphoric as when I completed a similar trip to Paris last month (my report), but it was a pleasant experience nevertheless. Italy remains one of my favourite countries to visit!

 

 

 


Created 02-Nov-2021 | 09-Nov-2021