Lot 304
  • 304

Ippolito Caffi

150,000 - 200,000 USD
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  • Ippolito Caffi
  • Venice, a view of the city under snow with the church of the Salute
  • signed and dated lower left: Caffi. 1852
  • oil on canvas
  • 56 x 72 cm 60,50 x 86,5 cm incl. corn 7 cm spess.


Viancini collection, Venice;
Private collection, Padua;
With Cocozza, Venice;
From whom acquired in 2005.


Belluno, Palazzo Crepadona; Rome, Museo di Roma, Caffi. Luci del Mediterraneo, 1 October 2005 – 2 May 2006, no. 16.


A. Scarpa (ed.), Caffi. Luci del Mediterraneo, exhibition catalogue, Milan 2005, p. 261-2, cat. no 16, reproduced in color p. 118.


The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, simonparkes@msn.com, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's. This work has an Italian lining. The texture is good. The paint layer is clean. There are almost no retouches visible under ultraviolet light except for a few tiny isolated dots in the upper sky and in some cracks in the canal in the lower left. The work is in lovely condition and should be hung as is.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."

Catalogue Note

Under a heavy air and through a veiled light, Caffi captures the full scale and physicality of the church of the Salute, one of the great landmarks of Venice. Under the white snow the city is quiet and serene, with specks of precipitation scattered throughout, their sparkling reflections cutting through the fog. At the center of the design, behind the galley, the Dogana can just be made out through the fog. The low vantage point is taken from just above the water line and allows the artist to magnify the towering presence of the snow-capped cupola of the church. Like his forerunner Canaletto, Caffi is meticulous in his rendering of architecture, sparing few details in depicting the white-lined tiles and window sills. His approach is more poetic than Canaletto's though, and the painting should be considered a tour-de-force in the study of atmosphere, as well as a depiction of such a rare meteorological event as the presence of snow in the city.