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Title: Illazioni su una scala: Lady Helen d'Abernon a Ca' Giustinian dei Vescovi
Authors: Bisutti, Francesca
Celotti, Maria
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: Padova, Studio Editoriale Gordini
Abstract: The encounter between an English Lady and an ancient staircase. The wealthy Helen Venetia Vincent (later D'Abernon), née Duncombe, who lived in the cosmopolitan society of London, Paris and Costantinople, arrived in Venice at the beginning of the 20th century and rented the piano nobile of Palazzo Giustinian on the Grand Canal. She was attracted by the city, by the splendour of the palace and by the history of the old family, with its long line of illustrious forebears. On moving into the apartment - which she would occupy for twenty years- she rebuilt the percious 15th century external staircase leading up to it. Helen's personality, divided between her fascination for the past and the need to work for the future, reflected the complexity of modernity. She possessed beauty and charme, as portraits by important artists testify, but also a generous pragmatism that led her to be a Red Cross nurse and anaesthetist on the Western Front and on the Italian Front during the First World War. She kept a diary describing the sufferings of the soldiers in the front line and the distress of Venice under the air-raids. Forty years after its reconstruction, the fine staircase, which bears an epigraph recording Lady Helen's liberality, has become accessible to everybody, as Palazzo Giustinian dei Vescovi has become part of the buildings of Ca' Foscari University.
Appears in Collections:Annali di Ca' Foscari. Serie occidentale

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