Seeing Venice: An Eye in Love, Frederick Franck 2002
Frederick Franck, who died in 2006 at the age of 97, was born in Holland and became an American citizen in 1945. Trained as a dental surgeon, he was a confirmed pacifist and Buddhist and worked with Albert Schweitzer in Africa for several years. He wrote more than 35 books, perhaps most famously about Zen and art. His art is in the collections of MOMA, the Whitney, the Harvard Art Museums and other museums. I first read/viewed his work in a wonderful book about Simenon’s Paris in which his drawings accompanied portions of many of Simenon’s more than 300 novels including many of the Maigret series. In this book, Franck’s drawings accompany his wanderings through Venice, a city that he clearly loves beyond all others. From Carnivale to the famous churches, from Aqua Alta to the Islands, Franck’s self-described “inner travelogue with 94 drawings’ is a fine introduction to la serenissima, our destination in a few short weeks.