Lot 32
  • 32

Edward William Cooke

30,000 - 40,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Edward William Cooke
  • Venice, Sunset behind the church of Santa Maria della Salute 
  • signed E W Cooke RA and dated 1855 (lower left) 
  • oil on paper laid on canvas
  • 11 by 17 3/4 in.
  • 28 by 45 cm


Private Collection, United Kingdom

Catalogue Note

Following in the footsteps of Canaletto, Francesco Guardi, and Joseph Mallord William Turner, Edward William Cooke spent ten seasons in Venice from 1850-1877, enticed by the city’s architecture mirrored in the waterways and lagoons.  With the help of his gondolier, Vincenzo Grilla, who rowed the artist to new vantage points, Cooke found innumerable subjects for his paintings and captured his favorite views repeatedly under different light effects and weather conditions.  As John Munday notes, “What marine painter, worth his salt, could ignore the call of the Serenissima? Certainly not Edward Cooke, for her waterways fringed by palaces and churches of a unique style reflecting moving colour and light were thronged by a fascinating variety of working craft. Further, the islands in the lagoons were set against a mountainous backdrop and were subject to atmospheric effects which could be theatrical. What more, to his taste, could any place offer?” (John Munday, Edward William Cooke: 1811-1880, Woodbridge 1996, p. 151).  In the present view of the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute with Santa Maria della Rosario in the distance, Cooke has meticulously rendered various vessels and iconic buildings against a setting sun from a boat in the lagoon.  Such faithful renderings of Venice not only earned Cooke the praise of contemporaries, including John Ruskin, but continue to enthrall viewers today.