Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Oil painting - Two Studies of Men
  • Two Studies of Men
    Carlevarijs, Luca, born 1663 - died 1730
  • Enlarge image

Two Studies of Men

  • 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:

    P.41-1938

  • Gallery location:

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

Two studies of men, at left a young man in profile wearing a blue cloak and black hat and at right a bewigged man wearing a pale blue long coat and vest with a white cravat, black stockings and a fur muff, carrying a black tricorn hat in his right hand. This work is 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. The figure at the right reappears for example in The Molo and the Riva degli Schiavoni, Looking East and in The Piazetta, towards the punta della Dogana both now in private collections.

Physical description

Two studies of men, at left a young man in profile wearing a blue cloak and black hat and at right a bewigged man wearing a pale blue long coat and vest with a white cravat, black stockings and a fur muff carrying a black tricorn hat in his right hand. 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)

Date

ca. 1700-ca. 1710 (painted)

Artist/maker

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

Materials and Techniques

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

Height: 184 mm, Width: 148 mm

Object history note

Purchased, 1938

Historical significance: Painter, engraver and architect, Luca Carlevarijs (1633-1730) has long been acknowledged as the first Italian painter of Venetian views. Although he worked in other genres, it is for his views of Venice that Carlevarijs is possibly best known. Following the death of his father, also an artist, Carlevarijs left his native Udine to live in Venice with his sister. He was soon discovered by the powerful Venetian Zenobio family who lived in the same quartiere or district as the young artist. It is believed that the artist travelled to Rome when he was young. In Rome he would have been exposed to the view paintings of one of the first masters of this genre Gaspare van Wittel. On his return to Venice Carlevarijs began to produce views of his adopted city. One of the seminal works was the artist’s volume of printed views titled: Le fabriche e vedute di Venezia disegnate poste in prospettiva et intagliate da Luca Carlevaris. Published in 1703, this book consists of 104 views of Venice. It was 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. The work was highly influential with many later view painters, including Canaletto, borrowing from it for their own paintings. Perhaps due to his friendship with the Zenobio family, Carlevarijs enjoyed the patronage of many Venetian families. Other contemporary Venetian view painters such as Guardi and Canaletto painted mainly for the export market, making Carlevarijs’ role in Venetian society unusual. Following his Arrival of the 4th Earl of Manchester in Venice in 1707 (1707; Birmingham, Mus. & A.G.), many of Carlevarijs’ paintings combine grouping of figures against the backdrop of Venice in rich, colourful and dramatic compositions. In 1712 he was working in Conegliano and in 1714 he returned to Udine to work as architectural supervisor for the Cathedral. A portrait of the artist shows him with pair of dividers, suggesting that he had some form of mathematical training. His name appears on a list of confraternity of Venetian Painters in the years 1708-13, 1712, and 1726.

This is one 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. This canvas shows two studies of men. At the left a young man in profile wearing a blue cloak and black hat and at right a bewigged man wearing a pale blue long coat and vest with a white cravat, black stockings and and a fur muff carrying a black tricorn hat in his right hand.

Carlevarijs 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. Although these figures do not appear in paintings together, as shown in the sketch they do recur in a number of works by Carlevarijs. The figure at the right reappears for example in The Molo and the Riva degli Schiavoni, Looking East now in a private collection (fig. 19, Beddington) and in The Piazetta, towards the punta della Dogana also in a private collection (fig. 41, 1994 Exh.Cat.). The cloaked figure on the left can be seen in The Reception of the British Ambassador Charles Montagu in the foreground near a lady holding a fan (the sketch for which is in the V&A collection, inventory number P.76-1938).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).

References:

Rizzi, Aldo. Luca Carlevarijs, (Alfieri: Venice, 1967).

Historical context note

This work is 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. 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. 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, 'Two Studies of Men', 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, 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.

Materials

Oil paint; Canvas

Techniques

Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Costume; Hats; Man

Categories

Paintings; Clothing

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.