Pre-Raphaelite School

Column of St Mark (Lion), Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy

From a series of seven images of Venice 

Probably c. 1900
Pen, pencil and ink drawing
On gilt-edged artist’s board from an album.

Whilst unattributed, these are by a skilled hand in a gloriously ‘loose’ style. They have the air of maybe Thomas Matthews Rourke, Ruskin’s assistant.

Venice was a regular stopping point on the Grand Tour, and the romance and exotic nature is here captured skilfully by the artist with a clever use of ink wash. The New York Times in 2008 described the Grand Tour thus:

“Three hundred years ago, wealthy young Englishmen began taking a post-Oxbridge trek through France and Italy in search of art, culture and the roots of Western civilization. With nearly unlimited funds, aristocratic connections and months (or years) to roam, they commissioned paintings, perfected their language skills and mingled with the upper crust of the Continent.” Venice Railway Station opened in 1861, so by the time of these views the expedition as far as Venice was somewhat easier.

Condition: Possible slight loss of colour and there is a little occasional spotting to the paper. Nonetheless a most charming drawing.

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