This is one of a number of variants of a successful composition, four versions of which are recorded by M. Manzelli (Antonio Joli, opera pittorica, Venice, 1999, pp. 100-2, nos. V.8-12); a fifth was published by R. Middione (Antonio Joli, Soncino, 1995, no. 12); another was sold at Sotheby's, London, 10 July 2002, lot 78. Two of these, one formerly in the Fleishmann collection and another in an English private collection (Middione, nos. V.9, pl. XXXVII and V.8, fig. 73) were certainly executed in London: the former bears the name of the impressario John James Haidegger on a boat, while the latter is from the series executed for the French Room at Chesterfield House, London to the commission of the politician and man of letters, Philip Dormer, 4th Earl of Chesterfield (see F. Russell, 'Canaletto and Joli at Chesterfield House', The Burlington Magazine, August 1988,
pp. 627-30). The Haidegger picture, which is somewhat less high, is almost identical in width, at 101 cm., and it is possible that for both that work and the present picture Joli availed himself of standard English three-quarter-length portrait canvases measuring 50 by 40 inches: this would imply a dating for the present example to Joli's London period, 1745-50. That the three boats nearest the fondamenta in this picture also appear in the Chesterfield House picture strengthens the case for such a dating. The composition was no doubt evolved while Joli was in Venice between 1732 and 1742, although Middione suggests that his no. 12 post-dates the London years, which might imply a similar dating in the 1750s for the larger picture sold on 10 July 2002 which, unlike the Chesterfield House and Haidegger pictures, shows a stretch of the fondamenta running to the right in the foreground.