Jean-Francois Raffaëlli was born in Paris into a bourgeois family in which he enjoyed a privileged childhood until the age of fourteen when a reversal of his father's business fortunes forced him to seek employment. He held a series of jobs before being placed, unwillingly, in a commercial house as a book-keeper at the age of sixteen. While working there, he began to visit the Louvre and to spend his Sundays in the Musée de Luxembourg. His initial artistic interest was in drawing and as he developed this passion, he gave up his job and supported himself by singing in theatres and churches.
Although he had received no formal training, one of his landscapes was accepted by the Salon Jury in 1870. The following year he enrolled in the Ecole des Beaux Arts where he studied in the studio of Gérôme for three months. For the first period of his artistic development, Rafaëlli turned to Corot, Roybet, Gérôme and Fortuny, painting mainly landscapes and historical costume pieces but suddenly and without apparent warning, he produced a powerful portrait of a Breton peasant family in 1876 entitled La famille de Jean le Boiteaux. Exhibited at the Salon of 1877, the work heralded a new phase in the artist's career. Rafaëlli was one of the young artists who gathered around Degas at the Cafè de la Nouvelles-Athenes, and through the older painter's influence, he was invited to exhibit with the Impressionists in 1880 and 1881. During the late 1870's and 80's, he painted many aspects of the rapidly expanding suburbs of Paris, frequently portraying rag-pickers and garlic sellers, people who were being made redundant by the onset of urbanisation. During the 1890's, he moved back into the center of Paris and began to concentrate largely on views of the countryside and seaports, such as this painting, which is typical of this phase of his career. Here, Raffaëlli captures the bustling movement of well dressed Venetians and tourists who promenade on the the Riva degli Schiavoni, which at that time, was one of the most fashionable thoroughfares in Venice.
Galerie Brame & Lorenceau has confirmed the authenticity of this work.