Mikhail Vrubel found Venice boring. It was of interest "only for his palette." That was not my experience. Even at night, when your palette shrinks to greys and only a muddy simulacra of the daylight colours are visible, the city remains beautiful and ominous. It's a place to feel lonely in.
And to paint. Watercolour at night is not easy. I was alone, and wandering the sestiero di San Marco, but I had my paints and I had plenty of time.
How Vrubel, a painter at once romantic and nihilistic, could have rejected Venice, the most romantic and abnegatory of cities, is a mystery. Perhaps they were too much alike. Sometimes you have to be a little bit dull in order to appreciate the magical. Tolkien retired to the most tedious suburb imaginable. Perhaps magicians read only non-fiction.