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William Callow, R.W.S. (Greenwich 1812-1908 Great Missenden)
William Callow, R.W.S. (Greenwich 1812-1908 Great Missenden)

Venice, the Bacino, looking towards the Doge's Palace and the Piazzetta San Marco

Details
William Callow, R.W.S. (Greenwich 1812-1908 Great Missenden)
Venice, the Bacino, looking towards the Doge's Palace and the Piazzetta San Marco
signed and dated 'W.Callow/1858' (lower right) and inscribed 'No. 10/Venice/William Callow/20 Charlotte Steet/Portland Place/W.' (on the artist's label attached to the verso of the old backboard)
pencil and watercolour heightened with bodycolour, on oatmeal paper
10¾ x 19.5/8 in. (27.4 x 49.8 cm.)
Provenance
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 14 April 1994, lot. 513.
Exhibited
London, Society of Painters in Water-Colours, London, 31 July 1858, p. 18.

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Lot Essay

Although Callow's Italian scenes in general proved popular, his Venetian views were particularly admired. He first visited Venice in 1846, during his ten week honeymoon, up the Rhine, across Switzerland and through Northern Italy to Venice. He returned on various occasions including in 1858, when the present watercolour was executed.

Venice clearly had a special resonance for Callow, as shown in his description of his final trip to Italy, in 1892, at the age of 80, when he spent far longer in Venice than anywhere else. He wrote, 'I started off with my wife on my last foreign tour to bid farewell to the many picturesque old towns which had raised so much enthusiasm in me more than half a century ago....Finally we arrived at Venice and put up at our old quarters, Hotel Europa facing the Grand Canal...After a fortnight of perfect enjoyment...we reluctantly left Venice, for myself at least for the last time' (J. Reynolds, William Callow, London, 1980, p. 154).

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