Son of the acclaimed painter Giovanni Battista Santoro, Rubens Santoro was an excellent student with an innate gift, learning swiftly how to render scenes of architecture, landscape, and water with great skill while he was a student at the Accademia in Naples. Though his training at the Accademia was formal, Santoro found his calling in painting scenes al fresco. This, combined with the artist’s interest in architecture and the effects of light on water, made Venice an ideal subject for him.
This view of the Ca'Rezzonico is a superb demonstration of Santoro’s understanding of light, colour, and perspective. During Santoro's lifetime, the palazzo passed through several families. In the 1880’s it became the home of the painter Robert Barrett Browning and briefly his father, the poet Robert Browning. John Singer Sargent had a studio in the Palazzo around this time and at the turn of the century it was used for lavish carnival balls, before being leased to Cole Porter in the 1920’s.