I was in Bassano del Grappa today. A beautiful small Medieval/Renaissance town scenically situated in the foothills of the Dolemites, it’s well worth a visit. Palladio’s famous pontoon bridge is elegant, almost timeless in its grace, and the collection at the city museum of pictures by the town’s greatest artist son Jacopo del Ponte, aka. Jacopo Bassano, is both grand and moving. His best work is earthy and rustic, yet possessed of a luminous spirituality that transcends the profane.

Anyway, what I wanted to post here are some legal walls I saw there. Most of them are from a parking area, on the warm yellow walls of these rundown and beautiful old buildings:



See more in the Bunker’s gallery. At first, I was a little offended that these buildings should suffer so, but most of the work was rather inspired, and then it struck me — many walls in the city are, in fact, painted, covered as they are in frescoes from the 16th century onwards, some of them even by Jacopo and his dynasty of painting sons.

Just as was the case in the capital of the region, Venice — though one wouldn’t know it today, because it has all peeled off in the humidity — it was very much in vogue in Bassano, and many other towns of the Veneto, to decorate buildings in this way in the 16th Century. It must have been an intoxicating experience to walk these streets back then, and in some ways, inviting graffiti writers and street artists to decorate an communal area such as this parking lot is a decision very much in keeping with the town’s tradition for public imagery.