William Marlow

Capriccio: St Paul’s and a Venetian Canal

?c.1795

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 1295 x 1041 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1954
Reference
N06213

Display caption

This is an architectural fantasy ('capriccio'), combining the most instantly recognisable element of the London skyline - St Paul's - with a Venetian canal. The artist, who specialised in city views, may be drawing attention to parallels between Renaissance Venice and modern London. Both cities were made wealthy through international commerce, so Marlow's picture could be interpreted as a fantasy of the ultimate imperial city.

Gallery label, October 2002

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