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FRANCESCO ALBOTTO (1721-1757)
THE PROPERTY OF A SOUTH AMERICAN PRIVATE COLLECTOR
FRANCESCO ALBOTTO (1721-1757)

The Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute, Venice, looking south across the Grand Canal

Details
FRANCESCO ALBOTTO (1721-1757)
The Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute, Venice, looking south across the Grand Canal
oil on canvas
24½ x 38¾ in. (62.2 x 98.4 cm.)

Lot Essay

Built at the junction of the Giudecca and Grand Canals, at the focal point of the city of Venice, the Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute rose as a symbol of health and salvation after the devastating plague epidemic of 1630. Its construction marked the debut of Baldassare Longhena (1598-1682), who was to become the Serenissima's preeminent Baroque architect. Under construction for fifty years, the basilica was eventually consecrated on 9 November 1687, after Longhena's death. One of the most important buildings of the early Italian Baroque, the Salute was imitated all over Europe, such as in the Church of the Immaculate Conception at Gostyn in Poland, and the Church of the Jesuit College at Loyola in Spain.

The composition of the present work recurs in a number of versions, which have been attributed to Albotto by Dario Succi and dated by him to circa 1647 and 1655 (for a fuller discussion see Succi, in the catalogue of the exhibition, Marieschi tra Canaletto e Guardi, Gorizia, 1986, pp. 188-195, nos. 226 and 228-231). Although all these variants have differences in the gondolas and sandalos in the foreground, the present work is closest to that formerly with Fredrick Mont, New York (ibid., p. 190, no. 230). Ralph Toledano, however, attributes a number of the above works to Albotto's teacher, Michele Marieschi (1710-1743), and dates them variously to between 1735 and 1740 (see R. Toledano, Michele Marieschi, 1995, pp. 81-83, nos. V.18a-18e).




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