David Fraser Jenkins comments on Piper's Venice works; 'his approach to the painting of Venice, on his first working visit in 1958, was through Turner, who was a precedent for his own response to the startling colour of the subjects, particularly grey and pink. The following year he was able to return with a commission from Arthur Jeffress to prepare an exhibition, which was then repeated in 1962 for Rome' (Exhibition catalogue; John Piper 1902-1993, Tate, London, November 1983 - January 1984, p. 126).
Spalding comments: 'His paintings of Venice contrast the white Istrian stone with the greyness of the weather. They also play with the reflections on stone, brick and water. Many of his oils were painted on coarse hessian, stretched over board, and on top of the loosely defined architecture and bursts of illumination he flicked skeins of white paint, thereby suggesting the dematerialising effect of dancing light' (F. Spalding, John Piper: Myfanwy Piper Lives in Art, New York, 2009, p. 395).
We are grateful to Rev. Dr. Stephen Laird for his assistance in preparing the catalogue entries for lots 40-41 and lots 137-138.