Join us 13 March for: 'Textiles in the City: Canaletto dresses Piazza San Marco'.

7 March 2024

Join us 13th March for Professor Basile Baudez Research Seminar on ‘Textiles in the City: Canaletto dresses Piazza San Marco' at 4pm in School 2. A wine reception will follow at 79 North Street.

This talk focuses on the different ways Canaletto transformed the image of venice's Piazza San Marco by using textiles that operate as architectural devices. When treated as soft architecture, awnings, curtains, tents, flags, and clothes not only transform the monumental and static facades of the square by introducing the vibrancy of contemporary life but also help clarifying the purpose of the building they cover, distinguishing their civic and religious functions from their domestic character. As architecture, urban textiles create liminal spaces that blur the strict boundaries between visibility and privacy that stone facades enforce. By introducing a flow of textiles in his vedute, Canaletto produces artworks that sustain one of the foundational myths of Venice: that of perfect harmony between public and private, exposure and privacy, antique and modern.

Basile Baudez is assistant professor of architectural history in the Art & Archaeology Department at Princeton University after having taught at the Sorbonne in Paris. His first book, Architecture et Tradition Académique au Siècle des Lumières questions the role of architects in early modern European academies. He co-edited several volumes on the history of architecture such as A Civic Utopia. Architecture and the City in France, 1765-1837, Chalgrin et son Temps. Architectes et architecture entre l'Ancien Régime et l'Empire and most recently Textile in Architecture from the Middle Ages to Modernism. He curated several shows devoted to architectural drawings, at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, and at the Courtauld Institute in London. His latest monograph, Inessential Colors: Architecture on Paper in Early Modern Europe was the 2022 winner of the Alice Davis Hitchcock Medallion awarded by the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain.