Tag: Venice

San Marco and the Salute

This is a celebrated view, one that has teased and inspired generations of artists since the 18th century. It shows the mouth of the Grand Canal with Santa Maria della Salute to your left and the Ducal Palace to your right; the fact that it must always be captured in a moving vessel, under sail or vaporetto is a nice conceit. Whistler I think gives a my favourite rendition, both enigmatic and precise.

San Giorgio Maggiore

Watercolour is famously the medium of choice for attempting to capture the indefinable, enigmatic and of course unreachable glories of Venice. Whilst the collection of structures at the end of the Grand Canal are justifiably without parallel, creating an inexhaustible source of vistas, it is the view east across the Giudecca canal that perhaps offers an alternative locus mirabilis for the artist.

San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, dusk (detail)

San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, dusk [detail] (2015)

Facing west towards the dome of the Salute the sheer brilliance of the sunset, the strength of the colours and the intensity of contrast provide a different challenge in watercolours to the subtler art of capturing its alter ego eastwards, basking in a kind of reflected glory. The western front of San Giorgio Maggiore at dusk turns a brilliantly shining face to the embers of a fine day, alternatively it is ghost-like in a Venetian fug. For my part I love the dusk, and the surprising red of the umbra cast on the campanile from the dome.

The Union of St Kilda and San Michele

Union of St Kilda and San Michele

This painting is an attempt to give a meaning of scale to Stac Lee in the Kildan archipelago. Photographs fail to express the sheer scale of the highest sea stac in the British Isles, so paints must be used to help set the scene more forcefully. In a metaphysical twist I tow the L’Isola San Michele in Venice 1,980 km for comparison. All heights are to scale.

Acrylic on canvas (40x51cm)