Monday, June 7, 2010
Edward William Cooke - Venice, looking into the Grand Canal
inscribed on the reverse: 'Venice painted on the spot by E. W. Cooke R.A. looking into the Grand Canal'
oil on paper laid down on canvas
11 by 18 in
Cooke followed in the footsteps of Canaletto, Guardi and Turner, enticed by the architecture of Venice mirrored in the waterways and lagoons. He found innumerable subject for his paintings and painted favourite views repeatedly under different light effects and weather conditions. As John Munday has pointed out 'What marine painter, worth his salt, could ignore the call of the Serenissima? Certainly not Edward Cooke, for her waterways fringed by palaces and churches of a unique style reflecting moving colour and light were thronged by a fascinating variety of working craft. Further, the islands in the lagoons were set against a mountainous backdrop and were subject to atmospheric effects which could be theatrical. What more, to his taste, could any place offer?' (John Munday, Edward William Cooke RA FRS FSA FLS FZZ FGS 1811-1880, 1996, p. 151).
The present view appears to have been painted from a boat moored in the lagoon, with the Piazzetta of San Marco and the Ducal Palace on the right and the church of Santa Maria della Salute and the Dogana on the left. The wide expanse of the Grand Canal sweeps through the centre of the composition.
at 1:00 PM