Bogoliubov’s superior knowledge and faithful reproduction of Venice’s architectural monuments was always combined with the precise depiction of ships and boats. The artist probably created no fewer than 100 paintings and graphic works depicting the Venetian landscape, and was especially prolific in the 1870s and 1880s. They were shown at the exhibitions of the Peredvizhniki.
The offered lot presents a striking view of the magnificent architectural ensemble of the famous church of Santa Maria della Salute, completed in 1687, from the banks of the Grand Canal.
Situated on the opposite bank, this church is an important focus in the panorama of the city. On the right we see the Doge's Palace, St Mark's Campanile and the lively piazza, and moored sailing vessels. In the boats we see the figures of the gondoliers, while on the banks we observe the fishermen gathering their nets, a group of Catholic priests, and the well-dressed, promenading public. Such lively, energetically rendered figures almost always make an appearance in Bogoliubov’s work and are worth examining.
A very similar view, except taken from the water and a more distant view point, is depicted in the painting Venice (oil on canvas, 39 by 61cm) from the collection of the Tver Regional Art Gallery (fig.3)
The present lot is a stirringly romantic perception of the distinctive Venetian way of life and features every one of those traits noted by Bogoliubov’s contemporaries that distinguish his best works: 'the remarkable strength of composition, the wonderful attention to detail, the marvellous use of colour and superior draughtsmanship' and not least the 'strong poetic feeling'.
We are grateful to Lyudmila Pashkova of the Radishchev State Museum of Fine Arts for providing this catalogue note.
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