Lot 92
  • 92

Johann Richter

100,000 - 150,000 USD
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  • Johann Richter
  • Venice, a capriccio view of the Grand Canal towards the Punta della Dogana
  • oil on canvas, unlined


Anonymous sale, Milan, Il Ponte, 31 March 2015, lot 552 (as attributed to Richter).


Brescia, Palazzo Martinengo Cesaresco, Lo splendore di Venezia, Canaletto, Bellotto, Guardi e i vedutisti dell'Ottocento,  23 January - 12 June 2016, no. 15 (as Richter).


D. D'Anza in D. Dotti (ed.), Lo splendore di Venezia, Canaletto, Bellotto, Guardi e i vedutisti dell'Ottocento, exhibition catalogue, Milan 2016, cat. 15, reproduced (as Richter).


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 is in very good condition. There is no abrasion to the paint layer. Under ultraviolet light, there is a restoration in the upper center and a line of retouches in the blue sky in the upper left. There are hardly any retouches at all in general. The restoration is good, and the work could certainly be hung in its current condition.
"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

Daniele D’Anza was first to publish this Venetian scene on the occasion of its exhibition in 2015 (see Literature and Exhibited), considering it to be a mature work by the artist. While elements of Richter’s view are recognizable, the architecture depicted is in fact largely imagined. The artist painted the Dogana da Mar as it appeared at least fifty years earlier, prior to its renovation by Giuseppe Benoni in 1675. Rather than the elaborate Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, at right a domed church of Richter’s own invention dominates the skyline. At a glance, however, the fictional building does not appear at all incongruous within the Venetian view, since it borrows architectural features from a variety of the city’s churches, including that of San Giorgio, Tolentino and the Redentore. The monument at left, another capriccio element, feels similarly appropriate, the winged lion being emblematic of the Republic of Venice.

As D’Anza notes, toward the end of the 1720s and following the death of his master, Luca Carlevarijs in 1730, Richter’s painting style began to shift and his perception of space became more expansive and open. The artist adopted distinctive pearlescent tones; light blue skies, interrupted by rose colored clouds, are reflected in the pale grey waters of the Grand Canal. Yet in the foreground Richter's animated and predominantly youthful figures are painted in vivacious color, thrown into relief against the cool palette of their ephemeral backdrop.