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A Spot in Venice

Painting, 1894, 66×82 cm
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Description of the artwork «A Spot in Venice»

For Frits Thaulow, Venice was perhaps the best place for work. Except for his native Norway, of course. He, who studied painting from the celebrated Danish marine artist Carl Frederik Sørensen and devoted the first years of his artistic career to painting water, could not help being captivated by the city where he could see water everywhere. Twice he visited Venice, and painted it — but not its people, which was typical of him. Thaulow took little interest in both crowds of tourists and picturesque locals. Water — that was his aim and the object of his endless studies. He sought inspiration in the most remote spots of the city, that were unfrequented by visitors.

Unlike many of his colleagues of that time, Thaulow never went as far as to make ambitious political or social declarations by means of his works. What really mattered to him was the artistic merits of the picture, and the true-to-life depiction of all the qualities of the objects depicted.

As a result, A Spot in Venice is a very unusual image of the city. Thaulow managed to capture a scene almost intimate from life of Venice, its reverse side hidden from most eyes. In detail, though avoiding unnecessary dramatic effects, he reproduced the old buildings with plaster flaking off. With the never-ending flowing of water around them, their steadiness seems illusory and insubstantial. It is the water, of course, that is the main character of the picture. Dynamic, painted in the Impressionist manner, the water in Thaulow’s picture looks both calm and swift at the same time. The atmosphere of this quiet, unshowy streetscape is rendered in so masterly a way, that you need time to notice the gondolier’s solitary figure. He, the only person here, calm and slow, yet in constant motion, seems an integral part of the view.

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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Urban landscape

Style of art: Impressionism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1894

Size: 66×82 cm

Artwork in selections: 10 selections

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