Michele Marieschi (Venice 1710 – 1743), Santa Maria Della Salute, Venice, as seen from the Grand Canal. Estimation 400,000 — 600,000 USD. Photo Sotheby’s.
oil on canvas; 21 5/8 by 33 in.; 54.9 by 83.8 cm.
PROVENANCE:John Watkins Brett, Hanover Square;
His sale, London, Christie’s, 9 April 1864, lot 845, for 100 gns (as by Canaletto and sold with its pendant to ‘Edwards’, lot 846, a View of the Frand Canal, with Figures on the Quay and Gondolas) to Smart;
James Dorington, Hanover Square;
His sale, London, Christie’s, 1 May 1880, lot 97, for 225 gns, to Colnaghi;
Sir Henry Hope Edwardes, Bart., Wootton Hall, Ashbourne, Derbyshire;
His sale, London, Christie’s, 27 April 1901, lot 23, for 90 gns, to Sedelmeyer;
Lord Hesketh, Easton Neston, Towcester, Northhamptonshire;
With Gallery Kraus, Paris, 1978;
Anonymous sale, London, Christie’s, 11 December 1984, lot 89;
There purchased by the present collector.
EXPOSITION: London and Birmingham, 18th Century Venice, 1951;
Bergamo, Galleria Lorenzelli, Michele Marieschi, September-October 1966, reproduced on the cover of the catalogue.
LITTERATURE: R. Pallucchini, « A proposito della mostra bergamesca del Marieschi », in Arte Veneta, vol. XX, 1966, pp. 314-325;
M. Valsecchi, « Riscoperta di Marieschi, » in Le Arte, November 1966, pp. 65-67;
W.L. Barcham in G. Rosenthal (ed.), Italian Paintings XIV-XVIIIth Centuries from the Collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore 1981, p. 272, note 46;
R. Toledano, Michele Marieschi, l’opera completa, Milan 1988, p. 85. cat. no. V.13.12, reproduced pp. 38, 85;
D. Succi, Marieschi tra Canaletto e Guardi, exhibition catalogue, Turin 1989, p. 140, reproduced;
M. Manzelli, Michele Marieschi e il suo alter-ego Francesco Albotto, Venice 1991, p. 54, cat. no. M.11.3, reproduced;
R. Toledano, Michele Marieschi, Catalogo ragionato, Milan 1995, p. 82, cat. no. V.18.d, reproduced;
F. Montecuccoli degli Erri and F. Pedrocco, Michele Marieschi, la vita, l’ambiente, l’opera, Milan 1999, p. 393, cat. no. 165, reproduced.
This luminous depiction of Santa Maria della Salute has long been recognized as an autograph and highly representative work by Michele Marieschi. It was recognized as such as early as its sale in 1880, and its attribution has not been questioned since. Succi dates it to 1739-40 (see Literature). Morassi, and later Pallucchini, Valesschi and Toledano have suggested previously that the figures were executed by Gian Antonio Guardi, Charles Beddington has (see Provenance) asserted that the figures are by Marieschi himself.
The view itself, an almost direct, full-frontal portrait of the Salute, was indeed a specialty of Marieschi, one which he replicated a number of times.1 Some of these Marieschi views, such as the example in the Art Institute, Chicago (inv. 1946.375), depict in the foreground of the composition the quay on the opposite side of the canal, with figures and gondole in the front plane of the picture. In this, they relate more closely to an engraving of 1741 by Marieschi of the view. Manzelli, however, publishes at least one view by Marieschi of the Salute as portrayed in the present composition, as if seen from inside a boat on the canal (or in fact, perhaps more accurately somewhat above the water so as to render the full impact of the church’s exceptional architecture) with the busy traffic of the waterway crowding the front of the canvas.2
One of the primary sights of the city of Venice, the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute was the masterpiece of Baldassare Longhena, the preeminent architect of the Venetian Baroque. It was erected at the commission of the city government to commemorate the relief of Venice from the outbreak of the plague that devastated a large part of Northern Italy from 1629-31. Nearly a third of the republic’s population was lost in the epidemic, and the site for the church, at the intersection of the Giudecca and Grand canals, was at the very heart of the city, a constant reminder to citizens and visitors alike of the deliverance of the Serenissima from what would be one of the last great outbreaks of the disease.
1. Toledano op. cit., p. 81, under cat. no. V.18a notes that the image is derived from a print by Carlevaris, presumably the image of the church from that artist’s highly influential Le fabriche e vedute di Venezia (1703) where the building is shown a similar manner.
2. Sale: Christie’s, London, December 11, 1984, lot 89; cf. Manzelli, op. cit., p. 54, cat. no. M.11.3, reproduced.
Sotheby’s. Master Paintings: Part I. New York | 29 janv. 2015, 10:00 AM