Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Prince and the Pauper

No, this handsome devil isn't me in a wig. This isn't a photoshopped illusion or some other kind of gag. This is in fact a 1387 portrait of Pietro Morosini of Venice, Italy. He wasn't really a prince, but he was part of the noble Morosini family. Actually, he was a Senator as well as Venice's ambassador.

When I visited the Correr Museum I was completely taken aback by the resemblance between us, which is why I took a picture despite the strict “No Photos” rule. I mean give me a fancy wig and golden sash I could totally pass as Mr. Morosini.

As a librarian, another cool thing about this guy is that he convinced Cardinal Bessarion not to bequeath his considerable collection of books to some stuffy old Benedictine monks, but instead to donate them to the Republic of Venice, which was the beginning of the Library of San Marco.

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