Day 7 Ca D'zan--The Ringling Summer Home


In contrast to the Edison/Ford summer place Ca D'zan (The House of John in a Venetian Dialect) was built to impress. And it does from the moment of entry to the grounds. You come up a circular lane and enter between two very feminine sphinxesd. The Tower of the house rises up against the blue of the sky and the blue of the river sets the backdrop for the whole scene. A statue of one of the Martial Caesar's decorates the right flank.

Inside, doors covered in gold leaf, hand painted cypress and plaster ceilings and an array of befuddling marble staircases that would entrance Escher. Mrs. Ringling liked green--thus the breakfast room is green, as is the pantry and the kitchen.

Overall, opulence deliberately calculated to give the real estate clients he often entertained a sense that the good life was possible in the Sarasota of the 1920s. A beautiful house.

The small museum on the grounds had a large collection largely of late Gothic and early renaissance "no-brand-name" painters. For example there was a painting fashioned after one of the most famous by El Greco, readily recognizable, however it was painted by his son. The Arcimboldo were from the school of Arcimboldo, etc. Which is not to say that the pieces did not have interest and attractions all of themselves. It was especially nice because it wasn't overwhelming. Easily walked in a couple of hours and enjoyed to the fullest.

The less said of the Circus Museum, the better. I find circuses and most particularly clowns disturbing at best. I suppose this represented the circus well, but I couldn't really advance an opinion. My host liked circuses and so I went through and looked at a collection of really neat photographs of Native American subjects that was for some reason included in the collection.

A very satisfying counterbalance to Wednesday's visit to the Edison/Ford estates.

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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on July 9, 2005 5:45 PM.

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