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Sickert visited Venice several times between 1895 and 1904. He was becoming interested in close-up views and in capturing the solid masses and the rhythm of architecture. This picture confounds our expectations by showing only a portion of the great domed church of Santa Maria della Salute, giving equal space to the more severe lines of the building to the left. He described his working method in Venice as striving 'to see the thing all at once. To work open and loose, freely, with a full brush and full colour. And to understand that when, with that full colour, the drawing has been got, the picture is done.'

August 2004