The Piazzetta and the Old Campanile, Venice
is a carbon paper tracing with pastel on laid paper. The technique and execution of this work are similar to the other two Tate works on paper executed in Dieppe by Walter Sickert (Tate N05094
). The paper is light weight and off-white in tone and the drawing has a grainy quality, particularly in the sky and lagoon area, suggestive of a transfer technique. The drawing covers almost the full extent of this rectangular paper sheet, but the edges of the carbon paper, used to transfer the compositional elements from a previous sketch or sketches, are just visible along the edges, forming a black rectangle.
After the carbon tracing, peach, blue, green, red and purple pastels were applied to colour and emphasise certain elements of the image, including the architecture, sky and lagoon. Cross-hatching was applied on top of the pastel in a black graphic medium, possibly using the carbon paper or working directly onto the paper pencil, to suggest depth in the sky and certain architectural features. Although this work has a sketch-like quality, the lines are not loose but very controlled and the architectural features are carefully proportioned, reflecting Sickert’s planning process.
How to cite
Kate Jennings, 'Technique and Condition', June 2005, in Robert Upstone, ‘The Piazzetta and the Old Campanile, Venice c.1901 by Walter Richard Sickert’, catalogue entry, May 2009, in Helena Bonett, Ysanne Holt, Jennifer Mundy (eds.), The Camden Town Group in Context, Tate Research Publication, May 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/camden-town-group/walter-richard-sickert-the-piazzetta-and-the-old-campanile-venice-r1135617, accessed 22 January 2021.