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Johann Richter
VENICE, A CAPRICCIO VIEW OF THE GIUDECCA CANAL, THE OSPEDALE DEGLI INCURABILI, AND THE CHIESA DI SPIRITO SANTO
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Johann Richter
VENICE, A CAPRICCIO VIEW OF THE GIUDECCA CANAL, THE OSPEDALE DEGLI INCURABILI, AND THE CHIESA DI SPIRITO SANTO

Details & Cataloguing

Inspired by Chatsworth: A Selling Exhibition

New York

Johann Richter
STOCKHOLM 1665-1745 VENICE
VENICE, A CAPRICCIO VIEW OF THE GIUDECCA CANAL, THE OSPEDALE DEGLI INCURABILI, AND THE CHIESA DI SPIRITO SANTO
Asking Price: $500,000

oil on canvas
33 by 53 3/4  in.; 84 by 136.5 cm. 
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Provenance

Dmitri Tziracopoulo, Berlin, before 1939, and subsequently Athens;
Thence by descent to a private collector;
With Charles Beddington, London, 2011;
From whom acquired by the present collector. 

Literature

W.G. Constable, Canaletto: Giovanni Antonio Canal, 1697-1768, London 1962 (and subsequent eds rev.d by J.G. Links), vol. I, p. 75, reproduced plate 10b.

Catalogue Note

This luminous and beautifully preserved capriccio is among Johann Richter’s largest and most impressive Venetian views, exemplary for its refinement, balance, and colouring. A follower of Luca Carlevarijs and a forerunner to Canaletto and Bellotto, Richter was a Swedish artist who spent much of his career in Venice. Although an accomplished painter of landscapes and decorations  in his early career in Stockholm, it was in Venice that he established himself as one of the pioneers of Venetian view painting, with his earliest known examples of this subject dating to 1717.1 In addition to faithful representations of Venice, he also often painted scenes that included recognizable Venetian architecture rendered in fanciful settings. Such is the case with the present example, which places buildings on the Fondamenta delle Zattere—including the Chiesa di Santo Spirito and the Ospedale degli Incurabili (a 16th-century hospital building)—in an imaginary environment. 

The present painting is wholly characteristic of Richter’s Venetian repertoire.  An expansive scene is set beneath a clear blue sky defined by clouds with soft pink undertones. The restrained yet crisp palette of the setting, which lacks harsh shadows, contrasts pleasingly with the vibrant costumes of the various figures that animate the central foreground. The placement of the boat that holds these figures, as well as a nearby vessel with an imposing mast in the immediate foreground was a technique that Richter often employed to increase the sense of depth and space within his paintings.2 Such a technique has been expertly employed in the present work, which, despite being an imaginary scene, seems to fully engross audiences in the beauty of 18th-century Venice. 

1 View of the Piazza San Marco and View of the Grand Canal near Santa Lucia, both signed and dated 1717, Osveld Sirén collection, Stockholm. 

2 For example, see Constable 1962, reproduced plate 9d and plate 10d. 

Inspired by Chatsworth: A Selling Exhibition

New York