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Oil painting - A Gondola
  • A Gondola
    Carlevarijs, Luca, born 1663 - died 1730
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A Gondola

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Venice (painted)

  • Date:

    ca. 1700-ca. 1710 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Carlevarijs, Luca, born 1663 - died 1730 (painter (artist))

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on canvas

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased from the funds of Captain H. B. Murray's bequest.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H, case WD, shelf 213

Physical description

A sketch of a side view of a gondola. This work is part of an album of fifty-three sketches by Carlevarijs which includes figures and objects he appears to have painted in the open air in preparation for insertion into formal compositions.

Place of Origin

Venice (painted)


ca. 1700-ca. 1710 (painted)


Carlevarijs, Luca, born 1663 - died 1730 (painter (artist))

Materials and Techniques

Oil on canvas


Height: 6.4 cm approx., Width: 32.2 cm approx.

Object history note

Purchased, 1938

Historical significance: This is a study of a side view of a gondola. It is one of Carlevarijs' studies known as macchiette, the quick sketches he made with daubs of colour. Carlevarijs first drew his subjects on paper, copying them from people he saw in the streets and then transformed them into lively oil sketches, such as this one, which represent a crucial part of his artistic process. Studies such as these would ultimately form part of a Venetian veduta or prospect painting, which is a genre Carlevarijs is generally credited with establishing in the eighteenth century. He populated his vedute with elegantly posed and well-dressed figures, concealing the decline of the Republic under the splendour of the pageants, festivals and regattas he often represented. Carlevarijs' sketches also demonstrate his great influence on Canaletto, whose figures and their arrangement often show a marked debt to the older Master such as in Venice: The Feast Day of Saint Roch ca. 1735 (National Gallery, London, NG937).

Historical context note

This work is part of an album of fifty-three sketches by Carlevarijs which includes subjects he appears to have painted in the open air in preparation for insertion into formal compositions. The figures and objects appear frequently and virtually without variations in his paintings between 1707 and 1726 and are closely related to his etchings of 1703 in Le fabriche e vedute di Venetia. Composed of 104 views of Venice, the etchings formed the most complete survey of the fabric of the city ever produced and served as a model for Venetian view painters throughout the 18th century. Gondolas feature in Carlevarijs' work as they represent one of the most elegant and effective means of navigating Venice's waterways in a period when an estimated several thousand gondolas were operating in the lagoon. As Carlevarijs stated in the dedication to Le fabriche, he intended his paintings to 'rendere più facile alla notitzia de Paesi stranieri le Venete Magnificenze' [render more clearly the magnificence of Venice to foreign countries]

Descriptive line

Oil painting entitled 'A Gondola' by Luca Carlevarijs. Italy, ca. 1700-1710.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Kauffmann, C.M., Catalogue of Foreign Paintings, I. Before 1800, London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973, p. 56-63, cat. no. 60 (P.26-1938 - P.78.1938).
John Pope-Hennessy, 'A Group of Studies by Luca Carlevarijs', The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs, Vol. 73, No. 426 (Sep., 1938), pp. 126-131.
Anon., 'Early Venetian Costume Studies' in Listener,22 September 1938, p. 613.
F. Mauroner, Luca Carlevarijs,2nd ed., 1945, p. 24, figs. 32 (P.57), 33 (P.55), 34 (P.69)
M. Levey, Painting in XVIII century Venice, 1959, p. 79.
W. G. Constable, Canaletto,i, 1962, pp. 70, 73 f., pl. 9 a (P.69) and b (P.55)
A. Rizzi, Disegni, incisioni e bozzetti del Carlevarijs, Exh. Cat. Udine, 1964, pp. 53-7, figs. 113-20.
The Glory of Venice : art in the eighteenth century. Jane Martineau and Andrew Robison (eds.), Exhibition held at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, September 15 - December 14, 1994 and at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., January 29 - April 23, 1995.
Life in XVIII century Venice, Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood, 1966.
A. Rizzi, Luca Carlevarijs,1967, p. 97 f., figs. 1-53 (Bozzetti).
Isabella Reale and Dario Succi, Luca Carlevarijs e la veduta veneziana del Settecento Exh. Cat., Milano : Electa, c1994.
Venice, 1700-1800: an exhibition of Venice and the eighteenth century (The Detroit Institute of Arts [and] John Herron Art Museum), 1952, pp. 9-12, 23-26.
Luca Carlevarijs, Le fabriche e vedute di Venetia Exh. Cat., Venezia : Marsilio, 1995-1996.
Charles Beddington, Luca Carlevarijs : views of Venice Exh. Cat. (San Diego, Calif.: Timken Museum of Art, c. 2001), p. 19, fig. 17.
Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1938, London: Board of Education, 1939.


Oil paint; Canvas


Oil painting

Subjects depicted





Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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