Piazza San Marco

Piazza San Marco, 1830-1840
Edward Pritchett (1808-1898)
Oil on canvas
BORGM 01758
Image © Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum

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Piazza San Marco

Edward Pritchett specialised in paintings capturing the buildings and canals of Venice. This painting shows the hustle and bustle of Piazza San Marco (St Mark’s Square), the principal square of Venice, a site popular with artists and tourists for centuries.

On the right-hand side of the picture is the Doge’s Palace, the seat of government of the Venetian Republic. It was built in 1340 in the Venetian Gothic style and extended and modified in the following centuries. To the left is St Mark’s Campanile (bell tower), the tallest structure in Venice and the Lion of Venice, a granite column topped by a winged lion, which symbolises the city – as well as one of its patron saints, St Mark.

Little is known about Edward Pritchett’s life and career, but we do know that he exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1828-49, and at the Society of British Artists. Nearly all his pictures were of Venice, but he did exhibit occasional English views.

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