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Venice Master Artisans

Book Review

book cover

Venice Master Artisans
Photos:Norbert Heyl
Text: Cristina Gregorin
Hardcover, 25x32 cm, 272 pages
Vianello Libri ·  €50,61
ISBN 88-7200-116-1

All too often, "coffee-table books" seem to have been designed for waiting rooms. Because they consist mostly of photos with a skimpy buffet of captions and body text, the reader can easily digest their contents while waiting for the doctor, dentist, or hairstylist. It's no wonder that most such books end up on remainder tables or in secondhand-book stores.

We're happy to report that Venice Master Artisans is a notable exception to the Waiting-Room Rule. This gorgeous book by Norbert Heyl and Cristina Gregorin is one of the richest and most engaging large-format books about Italy that I've seen in years--and it's an essential purchase for anyone with a serious interest in Venice, fine craftmanship, material culture, or shopping in Italy.

photoAs you spend leisurely days or weeks leafing throush this beautifully illustrated volume, you'll be taken into the studios and workshops of artisans who honor traditions of quality that date back to the earliest Venetian arti or guilds of the 13th and 14th Centuries.

You'll see the craftsmen at work, learn about their ancient processes, and get a sense of who they are--whether you're reading about Alfredo Barutti, a lacquerer and gilder who once sang in the opera chorus of the La Fenice theatre; Michele Cigogna, a third-generation maker of Venetian furniture; or Fernando Masone, who turns cotton pulp into handmade paper for calligraphy and art.

Next page: Examples of artisan profiles

In this review:

About the author:

Durant Imboden photo.Durant Imboden has written about Venice, Italy since 1996. He covered Venice and European travel at for 4-1/2 years before launching Europe for Visitors (including Venice for Visitors) with Cheryl Imboden in 2001.

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