John Piper

San Marco, Venice

1961–2

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Artist
John Piper 1903–1992
Medium
Lithograph on paper
Dimensions
Image: 645 x 467 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by Curwen Studio through the Institute of Contemporary Prints 1975
Reference
P06424

Display caption

Piper had first drawn in Venice in the spring of 1959, for a commission from the Arthur Jeffress Gallery in London. He then regularly made paintings and drawings of the city, and drew illustrations for an edition of Adrian Stokes's book Venice.

Piper had always admired the writing of John Ruskin, who had affected his art more than any other critic. He used the surface of this lithograph to imitate the unexpected dazzle of light from the façade of St Mark's Cathedral. This fascination combines Ruskin's interest in the variety of weather and in The Stones of Venice.

Gallery label, July 2008