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Comte Lancelot-Théodore Turpin de Crissé (French, 1782-1859)
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Comte Lancelot-Théodore Turpin de Crissé (French, 1782-1859)

Venice: preparations for a festival at the Campo di SS Giovanni e Paolo, looking north-east, with the equestrian monument to Bartolomeo Colleoni

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Comte Lancelot-Théodore Turpin de Crissé (French, 1782-1859) Venice: preparations for a festival at the Campo di SS Giovanni e Paolo, looking north-east, with the equestrian monument to Bartolomeo Colleoni signed with intials and dated 'T.T./1840' (lower right) oil on canvas laid down on board 38 x 50 3/8 in. (96.5 x 128 cm.) Painted in 1840

Lot Essay

This recently rediscovered picture is an important addition to the oeuvre of Turpin de Crissé and can be added to a group of Venetian scenes that he executed in the late 1830s and early 1840s. Amongst these are Vue de Venise (Montargis), Ferdinand I à Venise of 1838-48 (Nantes), Intérieur de la Chapelle privilégiée de Saint-Marc de Venise of 1839, Extérieur de Santa Maria d'Orto à Venise of 1839, Intérieur de la Chapelle de Mascoli à Venise and Santa Maria dei Miracoli à Venise (all Musée d'Angers).

The present work depicts preparations for a festival at the church of SS Giovanni e Paolo, with a fleet of gondolas ferrying a statue of the enthroned Virgin and flowers to the church, while workmen in front of the building prepare to hang garlands. It is likely that these arrangements are for the church's main celebration which takes place each year on the 26th June. On that day (the church's Saints Day), SS Giovanni e Paolo was visited by the Prince and the nobles (the 'Signoria'), in remembrance of the famous victory won in 1656 against the Turks in the Dardanelles. Because of the major role of SS Giovanni e Paolo, this celebration soon became one of the most important festivals in the Venetian calendar.

The monumentality of the church as opposed to the small size of the figures, the realistic representation of the church and the campo, and the topographical exactness are typical characteristics of Turpin de Crissé's work. Unlike, The Royal 'Fête-Dieu' Procession at St. Germain-l'Auxerrois, Turpin de Crissé chooses here to depict the organization and preparations for the festival rather than the event itself.

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