Lot 35
  • 35

ANTONIO JOLI | Venice, the Bacino di San Marco looking east with the Punta della Dogana and San Giorgio Maggiore

250,000 - 350,000 GBP
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  • Antonio Joli
  • Venice, the Bacino di San Marco looking east with the Punta della Dogana and San Giorgio Maggiore
  • signed lower left, on the casket: iolli 
  • oil on canvas
  • 97 by 144.2cm.


Anonymous sale ('The Property of a Gentleman'), London, Christie's, 2 December 1983, lot 111; With Galerie Gismondi, Paris (according to Toledano, under Literature);

Anonymous sale, ('The Property of a Gentleman'), London, Sotheby's, 10 July 2002, lot 78, where acquired by the present collector for £260,000.


R. Middione, Antonio Joli, Bergamo 1995, p. 68, under no. 12 (with incorrect dimensions); R. Toledano, Antonio Joli, Turin 2006, p. 193, no. V.I.6, reproduced.


The following condition report is provided by Henry Gentle who is an external specialist and not an employee of Sotheby's: Antonio Joli View of Venice Oil on canvas, in ornate gilt frame in good condition. The original canvas is lined. There is a bulging of the canvas along the bottom edge which is likely to be debris trapped between canvas and stretcher bar. Raised stretcher marks are visible, along with two raised parallel ridges to the right of the central stretcher mark denoting minor damage to the reverse of the canvas and resulting in very slight instability of the paint along the top of these ridges. The paint layer is very well preserved. Under raking light the surface is slightly raised but stable. Under UV light a scattering of restorations can be detected across the surface where reduction of the prominence of the stretcher marks has been undertaken. Dark shrinkage cracking is apparent and there has been a small amount of reduction in an area top left where the ground colour has become dominant. The paint texture is very well preserved, particularly the raised paint of the highlighted areas and the bravura brushwork in the clouds, which has not been affected by any previous conservation intervention. The more vulnerable details such to those of the figures, rigging and shadows are in a good original state. Subtle gradations of tone in the sea and the sky are retained. Removing the discoloured varnish would benefit the overall tonality and reveal colours that are vibrant and saturate strongly.
"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

Joli was extremely well-travelled and is known to have worked in a number of Italian cities (Modena, Perugia, Venice, Rome and Naples), as well as in Dresden, London (1744–48) and Madrid (1750–54). He is first recorded in Venice in the spring of 1732 and remained in the city for ten years. He made a name for himself there as a scenografo designing sets for theatrical and musical performances as well as for festivals in Venice, Modena and Padua. His success in this vein no doubt brought in its train a demand from clients for easel paintings, particularly views of the city, and in this he was to draw heavily upon the work of his contemporary Canaletto, whom he may have met in Venice in 1735. After departing from the city in 1742 Joli only returned to Venice in 1754 and remained for one year, during which he was elected a founder-member of the Accademia, before leaving for Madrid. The large number of extant versions of this design implies it was probably Joli's most popular view of Venice. This is one of only three signed versions, and is probably the most successful due to its extremely high quality and the way the light is beautifully rendered. The artist is known to have repeated the composition, with alterations in the format and size, on at least seven other occasions: these include one of four large views painted for Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield, and sold in these Rooms, 22 February 1956, lot 160 (118 x 124.5 cm.) and later sold as one of a pair, London, Christie's, 3 July 2012, lot 33; a more panoramic view sold in these Rooms, 7 December 2005, lot 58 (55.3 x 167.7 cm.); a signed canvas sold in these Rooms, 6 July 1988, lot 54 (43 x 69.5 cm.); another signed canvas sold in these Rooms 17 April 1996, lot 628 (59.3 x 101 cm.); a canvas last recorded with Agnew's (75 x 81.3 cm.); a canvas sold New York, Christie's, 24 January 2003, lot 161 (67.3 x 101.5 cm.); and a canvas of almost square format sold London, Christie's, 5 December 2012, lot 254 (130 x 145 cm.).

The lack of dated examples makes a clear chronology difficult but the aforementioned Stanhope picture was almost certainly painted in London in the 1740s. Toledano proposes a similar date of execution for the present work.