1823 - 1891
St Mark’s Square, Venice

Watercolour on paper, signed and dated ‘1868’ lower right
Image size: 16 x 11 1/2 inches (40.5 x 29.25 cm)


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The scene represents the edge of the piazza at St Mark’s Square in Venice, identifiable by the water’s edge and the distinctive large granite column that carries the symbol of one of the Patron Saints of Venice. There are two columns across the open end of the piazza. The one depicted here, the eastern column, has a creature on the top representing a winged lion – the Lion of Venice – which is the symbol of St Mark. The columns are now thought to have been erected about 1268 and when the water was closer they would have been on the edge of the lagoon, framing the entry to the city from the sea.

To the left of the column the ornate façade of the Palazzo Ducale can be seen with the Ponte della Paglia footbridge just behind. This landmark stone bridge was rebuilt as is seen here in 1847 and offers views of the Bridge of Sighs. Two years before this was painted Venice had become part of the Kingdom of Italy per the Treaty of Vienna in 1866.