I came across a wonderful 19th century oil painting the other day and I just had to share it.
This painting is by Ludwig Passini (an Austrian artist who lived in Trieste). The lady in the painting is his wife Anna Passini. She died less than two years after their marriage in 1866.
Here the lovely Anna Passini is relaxing in Venice, on the balcony of the Palazzo Priuli. By complete chance this palace is round the corner from the Church of San Zaccaria, one of my favourite churches in Venice. You can actually see the dome of San Zaccaria in the distance beyond the bridge.
The artist captures the Venetian architectural detail beautifully. Gothic arches inspired by the East (same style as the doge’s palace). On the left a typical Venetian chimney with a wide top – designed to direct dirty coal dust and smoke upwards and away from the houses, up into the sky, where winds would carry away the fumes and dust.
It’s probably springtime. The tree on the left of the canal is covered in light green, youthful foliage. The shutters of the building opposite are open, to let in light and air. The sky is slightly brooding, clouds are building, perhaps there is a hint of humidity in the air. Mrs Passini, seated on a red velvet cushion, enjoys the view.
Passini the artist was in the Palazzo Barbaro set, which included Isabella Gardner Stewart (who built a house in Boston based on Palazzo Barbaro) and artists John Singer Sergent and Whistler.
Magical memories of Venice!
- To discover more about Venice: An A-Z of Venice – it’s purely personal
- Further reading on Venice here: Venice – there’s treasure in every church
- Venice and plague: Venice – Health, Quarantine and Santa Maria della Salute
- #LetterfromEurope – The reality of travel in Europe – March 2021
- #LetterfromEurope 2 – Letter from Europe – April 2021