The Evolution of the Venetian Gondola

By G.B. Rubin de Cervin, published August 1956


After the first paintings of gondolas in the early sixteenth century, a detailed description published in about 1550, and their much-praised appearance in London in 1661, later paintings show a gradual evolution towards their present appearance. Following the collapse of the Venetian state in 1797, a reduction to one gondolier from two required a handier shape of hull, which endured in the 1882 design illustrated. A 1950s design (also illustrated) shows a further reduction in the immersed area and increased asymmetry, which helps the gondolier to maintain a steady course. Its fittings and its construction are detailed and its prospects considered (as perceived in 1956).

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Filed under: Other (Early Modern) | Other (Twentieth C) | Mediterranean | Other (Eighteenth C) | Other (Nineteenth C)
Subjects include: Leisure & Small Craft | Shipbuilding & Design

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