Richard Parkes Bonington

The Piazzetta, Venice

c. 1826
Bonington's drawing, made during his stay in Venice in 1826, is a study for a painting in the Tate Gallery, London. The view is taken from in front of the Palazzo Ducale looking over the Molo, the thin strip of land that fronts on the water. Two columns, carved in the 12th century, dominate the scene. The leftmost is crowned with a lion, symbol of Mark the Evangelist, patron saint of Venice; the other is topped by a statue of Todaro, the city's first patron saint, standing triumphant over a dragon. In 1797, Napoleon's troops removed the lion to Paris; it was returned in damaged condition in 1815 and later restored. At the right is a corner of the Library (1536-88) designed by Jacopo Sansovino. Baldassare Longhena's church of Santa Maria della Salute (1630-87) and the Punta della Dogana (1676-82) appear in the distance; at the left of the sheet, further away on the shore of the Giudecca, is Andrea Palladio's church of the Redentore (1577-92).
The Piazzetta, Venice
c. 1826
graphite on grey wove paper, mounted on cardboard
36.2 x 26.4 cm
Credit line
Purchased 1952
Accession number

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