Venice has long been a muse for artists and thinkers alike – making it impossible for Tart Boutique creator Edie Orenstein to escape its seductive charm.
It is not simply the surreal experience of traveling through streets on a gondola, or the medieval architecture and renaissance art that appeals, but the intellectual liberty that is carved in its deeply cultured past.
Since the birth of Venice over fifteen hundred years ago as a refuge for those fleeing Germanic invasions on its protective marshy grounds, it has harboured countless refugees seeking religious, political and sexual freedom in Europe’s dark ages. The seat of political, naval and commercial power by the 13th Century, Venetian nobles and philanthropists vied with each other to patron the best artists, scholars and scientists. Art, literature and hedonism bloomed. At a time when most of the world were illiterate peasants, Venice was producing Gothic cathedrals and inspiring Shakespearean dramas. The Republics wealthy citizens celebrated the splendor of their city and produced some of the worlds most opulent surroundings. Many beautiful, educated and connected local women seized this opportunity to gain financial independance and thus gave rise to the iconic Venetian Courtesan. These intelligent and accomplished women were considered the jewel of Europe and have been remarked upon throughout literature of the time. Seen as essential to the economy of Venice, their occupation was not only protected but encouraged by the city’s leaders.
While much of Tart Boutiques aesthetic reflects a Venetian courtesans boudoir, it is the ethos and heritage of the city that inspires us the most. An embracing of art, pleasure-seeking and liberation. An open mind towards learning, an understanding of the importance of luxury and a shameless love for hedonism.
Venice has a special place in our heart, which we hope to inspire in those who walk through our doors (and under our Venetian lamp!).
Images courtesy of Elizabeth and Mark Kowan