American, 1837-1926

Venice, 1903

oil on canvas
signed and dated lower left "T. Moran 1903"
20 x 30 inches

  • Provenance: Sotheby's, New York, New York, December 3, 1987, lot 85; Sotheby's, New York, New York, December 4, 2002, lot 128; Private Collection.

    Other notes: This painting will be included in the Thomas Moran Catalogue Raisonné Project under the direction of Stephen L. Good, Phyllis Braff, and Melissa Webster Speidel.

    Framed dimensions: 29 3/4 x 39 3/4 x 3 1/2 inches

    Thomas Moran immigrated with his family from England to Philadelphia in 1844. He attended public school and in 1853 apprenticed to a wood engraver. The four Moran brothers all became artists and Thomas worked in his older brother, Edward's, studio. Edward had already begun to establish himself as a marine painter. Of the four, Thomas Moran became the most successful and is today recognized as one of the preeminent painters of the American Landscape.

    In 1861, captivated by the work of J.M.W. Turner that they had seen in prints, the two brothers, Edward and Thomas, traveled to London where they spent several months studying and copying Turner's works on view at the National Gallery. This trip and Turner's influence would be evident in much of Thomas Moran's subsequent work.

    In 1871, Scribner's Magazine hired him to rework some sketches of Yellowstone made by another artist. Moran decided to visit Yellowstone himself and the trip generated numerous paintings and commissions. Inspired by the landscape he completed a 7 x 12 foot painting, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, that later sold to Congress shortly after the land was designated as a National Park. Following this success, he created another canvas, Chasm of the Colorado, also sold to Congress and matching the impressive scale of the previous painting.

    Moran returned to Europe, following in the footsteps of Turner and visiting places where his idol had painted. Captivated by Venice, Moran first visited in 1886 and returned again in 1890 and 1911. The paintings he created of the picturesque Italian city are sublime, luminous views reminiscent of his Turner. In the paintings, Moran masterfully switches between tightly painted areas to broader brush strokes, capturing the changing atmosphere.

    In 1883 Moran visited Mexico and traveled throughout the American Southwest and the Grand Canyon. He moved to Santa Barbara, California in 1916 and died there a decade later. At the age of 87 he made his last trip to Yellowstone, two years before his death. After his death he was memorialized as the "Dean of American Landscape Painters."

    Tags: oil painting, Venice, Italy, European, listed artist, 19th century, marine / coastal / seascape
  • Condition: in overall excellent condition; lined canvas; very minor frame abrasion lower right with corresponding hairline of paint; in an exceptional period frame; very minor craquelure upper right; additional UV photos available upon request

    We are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Shannon’s is merely a subjective qualified opinion. Frames on all paintings are sold "As Is". Frames may need some conservation. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD “AS IS” IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE. 

Accepted Forms of Payment:

American Express, MasterCard, Money Order / Cashiers Check, Personal Check, Visa, Wire Transfer


As a convenience to the Buyer, Shannon's LLC will make a referral
for packing and shipping. For a preliminary quote you may contact Jeff Von Flatern at [email protected] or 203-453-8866.
Shipping is at the request, expense, and risk
of the Buyer, and Shannon's assumes no responsibility for the
items or the timing of delivery. Insurance for in transit items is the
responsibility of the buyer.

October 27, 2022 6:00 PM EDT
Milford, CT, US


You agree to pay a buyer's premium of up to 27% and any applicable taxes and shipping.

View full terms and conditions

Bid Increments
From: To: Increments:
$0 $499 $25
$500 $999 $50
$1,000 $1,999 $100
$2,000 $4,999 $250
$5,000 $9,999 $500
$10,000 $19,999 $1,000
$20,000 $49,999 $2,000
$50,000 $99,999 $5,000
$100,000 + $10,000