Attributed to Feodor Jakoblewitsch Alexejeff (Saint Petersburg 1753-1824)
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Attributed to Feodor Jakoblewitsch Alexejeff (Saint Petersburg 1753-1824)

Arrival of the French Ambassador Jacques-Vincent Languet, comte de Gergy at the Palazzo Ducale, Venice

Details
Attributed to Feodor Jakoblewitsch Alexejeff (Saint Petersburg 1753-1824)
Arrival of the French Ambassador Jacques-Vincent Languet, comte de Gergy at the Palazzo Ducale, Venice
oil on canvas
72 1/8 x 103 in. (183 x 261.5 cm.)
Provenance
(Possibly) Dimitri Tziracopoulo, Berlin and Athens, by 1939, as a 'copy after Canaletto'.
with Galleria Pontremoli, Milan, by 1971, as 'Giuseppe Bernardino Bison'.
Barbara Piasecka Johnson Foundation; Christie's, London, 7 July 2006, lot 232, as ‘Circle of Luca Carlevarijs'.
Literature
(Possibly) W.G. Constable, Canaletto: Giovanni Antonio Canal, 1697-1768, Oxford, 1962, II, p. 346, under no. 356, erroneously conflated with the Hermitage painting; 2nd edition, revised by J.G. Links, Oxford, 1976, II, p. 370, under no. 356, as 'an old copy of the same size'.

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Lot Essay

Jacques-Vincent Languet, comte de Gergy (1667-1724), arrived in Venice as the Ambassador of France on 1 November 1726 and on the 4th made his state entry. Canaletto’s canvas showing him processing to the Doge’s Palace followed a pattern established in the preceding decades by Luca Carlevarijs (1663-1730). De Gergy is seen in the middle distance at the centre of the composition. Canaletto’s dramatic and ambitious prototype must have been despatched to France soon after this was painted, and was subsequently sold to the Tsarina Catherine the Great; it is now in the Hermitage, St. Petersburg (W.G. Constable, Canaletto, Giovanni Antonio Canal, 1697-1768, Oxford, 1976, no. 356), while the pendant, Return of the Bucintoro (ibid, no. 338) is in the Pushkin Museum, Moscow. A fine full-size copy of the picture in the Sutherland collection at Dunrobin Castle, Scotland, is signed by the Russian painter, Feodor Jakoblewitsch Alexejeff (1753-1824), who worked in Venice with Giuseppe Moretti, the pupil of Canaletto, to whom reduced versions of the latter’s late masterpieces in Berlin have been attributed. It is possible that this large canvas is also by Alexejeff and probable that it, like the Dunrobin picture and its pendant, was painted in Russia.

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