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Attributed to Bernardo Bellotto (Venice 1722 – 1780 Warsaw), Venice, view of the Molo from the Bacino di San Marco. Estimate 70,000 — 90,000 USD. Photo Sotheby’s.

oil on canvas, 24 by by 37 1/2 in.; 61 by 95.3 cm.

Provenance: Probably Leningrad Museum and Palace sale, Berlin, Lepke, 4-5 June 1929, lot 50 (as Canaletto);
With Hermann Burg, London;
Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby’s, 24 January 2002, lot 210;
There purchased by New York private collector;
Thence by descent.

Litterature: W.G. Constable with J.G. Links, Canaletto; Giovanni Antonio Canal, 1697-1768, vol. II, pp. 239, cat. no. 109b (as School of Canaletto, based on a photograph).

Notes: Stylistic comparison with other works of this period suggests a closer affinity to Bernardo Bellotto than to Canaletto. Based on comparison with the catalogue description and photograph from the important Leningrad Museum and Palace sale held at Lepke Auction House in Berlin in 1929, it seems probable that this is the same work that was deaccessioned by the Museum as an authentic work by Canaletto. Constable (see Literature) did not see this work firsthand, however on the basis of photographs believed it to be a school piece. The dimensions of the present work match exactly with those given in the Lepke catalogue, and despite a slight cropping of the edges in the Lepke catalogue illustration, there are no stylistic or compositional differences evident between the works.

The present work repeats in composition a picture in the collection of the Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego, California, traditionally given to Canaletto (see W.G. Constable with J. Links, Canaletto; Giovanni Antonio Canal, 1697-1768, London 1976, vol. II, p.239, cat. no. 109). The view is taken from a point opposite the Ponte della Paglia. To the left of the composition is the Zecca and the Library, with the Campanile seen in the distance. At the end of the Piazzetta is the east end of theProcuratie Vecchie and the Tore dell’Orologio. To the right of the center is the Ducal palace and beyond the Ponte della Pagliawith the Bridge of Sighs in the shadow behind the Prison.

Sotheby’s. Old Master & 19th Century European Art, New York | 30 janv. 2015, 10:00 AM