Sickert first visited Venice in 1895. He painted St Mark's basilica several times under different conditions, possibly inspired by Monet's of Rouen Cathedral, which he had seen in Paris. However, unlike Monet, he was not concerned with fleeting effects of light. Instead, he concentrated on the structure and mosaics, using the light to accentuate the sparkling gold pinnacles and to emphasise the spirituality of the basilica. This is Sickert's largest and most elaborate depiction of the front elevation. The title includes the Latin motto of the city: 'Peace be unto to you, Mark, my Evangelist'. The picture was first exhibited at the in 1897.
Gallery label, September 2004
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