. If it were not for the fact that they had recently been immortalized in a photograph revealing their age, you would not know if these ancient steeds of the lagoon would soon come into contact with the shiny, sumptuous brocades and dark, secretive cloaks of bygone eras, or by the far more practical and much less enchanting modern garb. Taken from the waters of the Grand Canal, not far from the spot where this 14th-century building overlooks the ancient waterway, between Rialto and Ca’ d’Oro, the photograph in question occupies a dominant position at the entrance to this large, modern, top-floor apartment, the most linear, airy and panoramic of the ancient building. It is one of the many examples of the presence of the past in a home that narrates, with striking contemporary taste, the distinctive and timeless qualities of Venice, which, beyond the city’s unmatched beauty and charm, liken it to a silent, eternal, and imperturbable divinity. Essentiality, above all. This was the principal characteristic requested by the clients, a couple who are passionate about their travels in Asia and Africa and who envisioned large, well-lit, easily-inhabited spaces, with accommodation for the numerous pieces of their contemporary art collection. Claudia Pelizzari oversaw the refurbishment of their apartment, creating an environment that is at once calm and full of surprises. Sudden glimpses of black or chocolate brown walls create a sense of movement while emphasizing the play of a succession of ancient ceiling beams, creating the impression of upturned boats. Natural materials and soft colors, ranging from white to sand, combine to create an understated, elegant and functional living room, an ideal backdrop for the large painting, After Delacroix, by Timothy Tompkins, and for the tentacled installation in Murano glass by the American artist Dale Chihuly, suspended from the “upside down boat” forms of the ceiling.