"GONDOLES À L'ENTRÉE DU GRAND CANAL, VENISE"
oil on canvas, 21 x 31 1⁄2inches,
signed lower right "Ziem"
Private Collection, Pennsylvania.
Note: A letter of authenticity from the Felix Ziem
Association signed by Mathias Ary Jan and David Pluskwa
accompanies the lot.
Felix Ziem was born in 1821, in Beaune, France. In 1842, he visited Italy for the first time and fell in love with Venice. He is mostly known for his paintings of Venice, where he captures the sea and city around it with sunlight and reflection.
Ziem’s works were first exhibited in 1849 at the Paris Salon, and Ziem remained a regular exhibitor there for many years.1He was also the first artist whose works were acquired by the Louvre while he was still alive.
Ziem was an avid traveler in search of picturesque subjects to paint, preferring areas with extraordinary atmospheric traits. He owned homes in Venice, the Martigues, Nice and Paris.
The current lot is a depiction of a sunny afternoon in Venice, his most compelling and sought-after subject. It portrays the busy seaport, distinctive boats and the architecture of Venice. The architecture borders the left side of the composition with the Doges Palace and Saint Mark’s Plaza being the dominant features. At the same time, a gondola sets forth towards the right of the composition, where the larger vessels are arriving and departing. Not only does Ziem demonstrate that Venice is a city of beautiful historic importance, but it is also linked to the wider trading world in its daily business. The water and sunlit sky expand across the entire painting and create the sense of romance, serenity and grandness of the canal.
1Poulet and Murphy, 1979, p. 45.