The view itself, an almost direct, full-frontal portrait of the Salute, was indeed a specialty of Marieschi, one which he replicated a number of times.1 Some of these Marieschi views, such as the example in the Art Institute, Chicago (inv. 1946.375), depict in the foreground of the composition the quay on the opposite side of the canal, with figures and gondole in the front plane of the picture. In this, they relate more closely to an engraving of 1741 by Marieschi of the view. Manzelli, however, publishes at least one view by Marieschi of the Salute as portrayed in the present composition, as if seen from inside a boat on the canal (or in fact, perhaps more accurately somewhat above the water so as to render the full impact of the church's exceptional architecture) with the busy traffic of the waterway crowding the front of the canvas.2
One of the primary sights of the city of Venice, the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute was the masterpiece of Baldassare Longhena, the preeminent architect of the Venetian Baroque. It was erected at the commission of the city government to commemorate the relief of Venice from the outbreak of the plague that devastated a large part of Northern Italy from 1629-31. Nearly a third of the republic's population was lost in the epidemic, and the site for the church, at the intersection of the Giudecca and Grand canals, was at the very heart of the city, a constant reminder to citizens and visitors alike of the deliverance of the Serenissima from what would be one of the last great outbreaks of the disease.
1. Toledano op. cit., p. 81, under cat. no. V.18a notes that the image is derived from a print by Carlevaris, presumably the image of the church from that artist's highly influential Le fabriche e vedute di Venezia (1703) where the building is shown a similar manner.
2. Sale: Christie's, London, December 11, 1984, lot 89; cf. Manzelli, op. cit., p. 54, cat. no. M.11.3, reproduced.
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