Thomas Moran (1837-1926)
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller
Thomas Moran (1837-1926)

The Entrance to the Grand Canal

Thomas Moran (1837-1926)
The Entrance to the Grand Canal
signed with initials in monogram and dated 'TMoran. N.A. 1900.' (lower right)
oil on canvas
20 ¼ x 30 ¼ in. (51.4 x 76.8 cm.)
Painted in 1900.
Frederick Mueller, Miami Beach, Florida.
Joseph H. Lang, Toronto, Canada.
Christie's, New York, 25 May 1989, lot 86, sold by the above.
Acquired by the late owners from the above.
R. Ellsworth, et al., The David and Peggy Rockefeller Collection: Arts of Asia and Neighboring Cultures, vol. III, New York, 1993, pp. 432-33, illustrated.
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Lot Essay

This painting will be included in Stephen L. Good's and Phyllis Braff's forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist's work.

In May 1886, Thomas Moran traveled to Venice for the first time. A popular subject of interest and nostalgia in the late nineteenth century, Venice was already a familiar place for Moran through the writings of Lord Byron and John Ruskin and depictions by J.M.W. Turner. Nonetheless, Moran was amazed by the splendor of the place upon his own arrival, writing to his wife Mary, "Venice is all, and more, than travelers have reported of it. It is wonderful. I shall make no attempt at description..." (as quoted in N.K. Anderson, et al., Thomas Moran, New Haven, Connecticut, 1997, p. 122) Upon his return, Moran immediately set to work on studio oils, and, from that point forward, he submitted a Venetian scene almost every year he exhibited at the National Academy. "The subject became his 'best seller.'" (Thomas Moran, p. 123) Indeed, the artist was so enamored with the atmosphere of Venice that he purchased a gondola there in 1890 and shipped it back for pleasure rides on Hook Pond near his summer home in East Hampton, New York. The gondola is now in the collection of The Mariners' Museum in Newport News, Virginia.

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