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MSS.4.696

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[archivist note: 10]

Venice. May 16th 1892

My very dear Anne - Adeline:

We went yesterday to try to discover Mr. Grahams in this strange interesting world called Venice. I assure you it was not the simplest thing to do. For several days we had been asking about him at the hotel and of artists and likely "people", but he was neither to be seen nor heard of. At last Miss Leigh Smith said she heard of him twenty years ago as living in the quarter St. Angelo and her experience was that once settled in a certain part of Venice artists seldom left their [illegible occupience]. Of the natives themselves it is oddly true. They know nothing of anybody outside of the Is[deletion: o]la or

"Campo" where they first drew breath. So I thought we could go to St. Angelo and ask. We had set apart a half hour in which to see Miss Clara Montalba but not finding her yesterday we began our search. After rowing under the arches of old S. Stefano and through narrow "Calles" we came to the picturesque Campo of St. Angelo. Here after diligent search of the grocer and apothecary's we found his house straight before our eyes. He was however ill, very ill, his wife said, and had been so for fifteen days. She is a handsome woman, sweet and gentle too, although I fancy of the peasant race, and it is not difficult to see why he found himself separated from his own race and people.

There were one or two very interesting pictures in the room we stood

in, but everything was to our American eyes rather unkempt although it did not look as if they were suffering for anything. However it was of course impossible to judge but we left our name and address and I hope if the poor man needs succour in any way that he will send to us unless he is too ill. It was a quiet old place and the afternoon sun was in the Campo upon which his rooms looked out. A statue of some old Italian inventor of Hydraulics! was in the center of the square.

We have had a moon here and music and every day long rocks on the gentle waters of the canals until we feel half drowned in the dream life which envelopes the whole place and removes it from the common world of humanity. My Sarah sends her love to you with mine. We have been living among the wonderful pictures of Carpaccio Tintoretto (why did I not put him first?)

Giovanni Bellini not to speak of others dear to our hearts. The great Colleoni statue which you doubtless remember is nearly concealed under a staging put up for the purpose of taking casts for Boston and other American cities. It has been covered a great while however and no casts have yet been taken!! I have mentioned Miss Leigh Smith sister of Mrs. Budichon who lives here with her friend Miss Blythe and paints daily and punctually. She is a delightful woman; indeed they both are and I should be ungrateful not to put her name in a letter from Venice which they have made already doubly delightful to us. What a temptation it is to take an apartment and live here during the summer! It is so comparatively easy to come here too since the steamers land at Genoa that I fancy more Americans than ever will come this way. To get the true inwardness of it all however, I think an apartment by far the best way to live.

What a world Italy is! The last place always seems the most difficult to leave, but when the last is Venice it is well nigh impossible.We are going to Aix les Bains for baths and later for a tour in France before we return in September. We hope to hear from you by and by. This is only to send you

[written vertically on page] word of our constant remembrance. Can we serve you in this distant land? your most affectionate Annie Fields.

Letter from Annie Adams Fields, Venice, to Anne Whitney, 1892 May 16

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