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St Mark's Basilica, Venice

Date made: 1907

Artist: Nicholson, John Miller

Description: St Mark's Basilica and Square, Venice, signed and dated by the artist John Miller Nicholson. The scene is based on sketches from his visit to Venice in 1882 but was painted in 1907, after the artist abruptly left Italy after only six weeks of a three-month planned trip. Nicholson completed a number of paintings this way, relying on his observations and sketches from his time in Italy to produce large oil paintings.

John Ruskin, the noted Victorian art critic, who had encouraged Nicholson to travel and broaden his horizons, was right in that what Nicholson saw in Venice, changed his art forever. He no longer needed or wanted to capture photographic detail (although his paintings are still impressively detailed, despite the quick, light brushstrokes) – and instead wanted to capture light, the fleeting moment – in the impressionistic style that focused on creating an impression of light changing by the second.

In this depiction of St Mark’s Basilica and Square, Nicholson uses light, almost pastel colours to capture the pale Italian marble and limestone of the Basilica and the Mediterranean feel of Italy so,ething that many in the Isle of Man would never have seen before, with travel and photography being much less prevalent than it is today.

Measurements: artwork: 69 cm x 108 cm

Materials: oil on canvas

Object name: painting

Collection: Art Collection

ID number: 1954-2501/012

Subject tags : #artgalleryjourneys


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