This little known work is one of a number of autograph variants of a composition inspired by Canaletto's view of San Marco from the Torre dell' Orologio, circa 1731, in the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford (see C. Beddington, Venetian View Painting in the Eighteenth Century, London, 2010, pp. 28-9, fig. 20).
Of the five autograph versions recorded by Toledano, the viewpoint for the present work corresponds most closely to that which he dates to circa 1740-41 (R. Toledano, Michele Marieschi, Milan, 1995, no. V.2.e, as unknown location). A similar unpublished version was sold in these Rooms (7 July 1995, lot 101), and is dated by Dario Succi to 1737-39. In employing Canaletto's device of a double vanishing point, almost the entire façade of San Marco is depicted whilst the campanile of San Moise is visible at the extreme right of the composition, behind the Church of San Geminiano. In all of these, the arrangement of the canvas-covered booths and staffage differs.
Michele Marieschi's training, like that of Canaletto, was in the practice of scene-design. At the beginning of his brief but prolific career, Marieschi's capricci reveal the influence of Marco Ricci and Luca Carlevarijs. By the mid-1730's Marieschi had begun to exploit the market for Venetian views and, by 1736, the patronage of Count Johann Matthias van der Schulenburg was secured with the sale of The Courtyard of the Doge's Palace (see Christie's, London, 7 July 2009, lot 66, £2,169,250). His rich, textured brushwork and bright palette were the distinctive elements that defined a highly individual technique which saw the artist emerge as Canaletto's greatest rival before his early death in 1743, aged 32.