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Bonington was born near Nottingham, though he trained at the atelier of Baron Antoine-Jean Gros in Paris. Later he travelled around Europe building up a reputation as a watercolourist. He painted this view on his only trip to Venice in 1826. It shows the column of St Mark in the centre, with the column of St Theodore to the right. In the distance are the domes of Santa Maria della Salute. The painting received mixed reviews when it was exhibited at the British Institution in 1828. One critic described it as ‘miserably cold and meagre’.

September 2004