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Oil painting - Three Studies of Costume
  • Three Studies of Costume
    Carlevarijs, Luca, born 1663 - died 1730
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Three Studies of Costume

  • 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, box A

These three studies of male costume form part of an album of fifty-three sketches by Carlevarijs which includes figures he appears to have painted in the open air in preparation for insertion into formal compositions.

Physical description

Three studies of men's costume including an embroidered long coat, sash and plumed turban. 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: 11 cm approx., Width: 18.3 cm approx.

Object history note

Purchased, 1938

Historical significance: These three studies of male costume form part of Carlevarijs’ studies known as macchiette, the quick sketches he made with daubs of colour to indicate animated Venetian figures. Carlevarijs first drew the figures 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 figures he appears to have painted from life in preparation for insertion into formal compositions. The figures 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. Carlevarijs' sketches reveal a particular attention to costume, highlighting Venetian style of dress which was highly regarded in fashionable circles throughout Europe from the 16th through the 18th centuries. The maritime republic imported raw materials from the Far East and exported finished products including highly desirable velvets and brocades. The taste for Venetian textiles persisted into the 18th century. In this period however, Venice's power was dwindling and her government corrupt. The city nevertheless sought to present a facade of a wealthy city peopled with bright and gregarious multitude engaged in pleasurable pursuits. 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, 'Three Studies of Costume', Luca Carlevarijs, ca. 1700-ca. 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.
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).
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

Costume; Turbans


Paintings; Clothing; Europeana Fashion Project


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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