Plate thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Europe 1600-1815, Room 3

Plate

1741 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

The plate was probably from a set of 24 that were specially commissioned by Horace Walpole from a Venice glasshouse as a souvenir of his visit in 1741. The plates, each of which was painted with a different view of Venice, were almost certainly never used, but were intended for display. By 1774 they displayed in Walpole's China Room at his villa at Strawberry Hill (near Twickenham west of London).

Horace Walpole, the 4th Earl of Orford and the youngest son of Sir Robert Walpole, was a noted author, wit, antiquarian, publisher, builder and designer; he pioneered the 18th-century Gothic revival in England and formed a remarkable collection of works of art and curiosities, which he displayed at Strawberry Hill. John Chute and the Earl of Lincoln, two of his companions in Venice, also ordered sets of these plates. The views are copied from prints by Antonio Visentini, after paintings by Canaletto, and from etchings by Luca Carlevaris. Prior to their publication, Visentini's prints were probably obtained for this purpose by Joseph Smith, a merchant and banker living in Venice, where he was later a British Consul.

This type of white glass, which is made opaque with an arsenic compound, was probably made in imitation of porcelain.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Opaque white glass, painted in red enamel
Brief Description
Plate, opaque white glass painted in red enamel with view of the Rialto, Italy (Venice), made by the Miotti Glasshouse, 1741-1741
Physical Description
Opaque white glass plate painted in red enamel with view of the Rialto, Venice
Dimensions
  • Maximum diameter: 22.5cm
conversion size only
Style
Gallery Label
  • Plate with view of the Rialto, Venice 1741 This plate made of opaque white glass is from a set with views of Venice commissioned by the English antiquarian and collector Horace Walpole. The Venetian island of Murano had long specialised in glass-making, but by the 18th century was losing ground to manufacturers in Germany and Central Europe. These factories could make heavier types of glass that could be cut and engraved in the latest styles. Italy (Venice) Made at the Miotti glasshouse Glass painted in enamel Wilfred Buckley Collection (09/12/2015)
  • Probably from a set of 24 plates painted with Venetian views made for Horace Walpole in Venice in 1741. The view of the Rialto here is taken from an engraving by Antonio Visentini.
Credit line
Wilfred Buckley Collection
Object history
The plate is probably from a set of 24 that were specially commissioned by Horace Walpole from a Venice glasshouse as a souvenir of his visit in 1741. The plates, each of which was painted with a different view of Venice, were almost certainly never used, but were intended for display. By 1774 they displayed in Walpole's China Room at his villa at Strawberry Hill (near Twickenham west of London).



Place Depicted
Summary
The plate was probably from a set of 24 that were specially commissioned by Horace Walpole from a Venice glasshouse as a souvenir of his visit in 1741. The plates, each of which was painted with a different view of Venice, were almost certainly never used, but were intended for display. By 1774 they displayed in Walpole's China Room at his villa at Strawberry Hill (near Twickenham west of London).



Horace Walpole, the 4th Earl of Orford and the youngest son of Sir Robert Walpole, was a noted author, wit, antiquarian, publisher, builder and designer; he pioneered the 18th-century Gothic revival in England and formed a remarkable collection of works of art and curiosities, which he displayed at Strawberry Hill. John Chute and the Earl of Lincoln, two of his companions in Venice, also ordered sets of these plates. The views are copied from prints by Antonio Visentini, after paintings by Canaletto, and from etchings by Luca Carlevaris. Prior to their publication, Visentini's prints were probably obtained for this purpose by Joseph Smith, a merchant and banker living in Venice, where he was later a British Consul.



This type of white glass, which is made opaque with an arsenic compound, was probably made in imitation of porcelain.
Bibliographic References
  • Charleston in JoGS 1959
  • Auction catalogue Phillips London, 16-IX-98, lot 65 plus colour plate on cover.
  • Snodin, Michael (ed.), Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill, New Haven : Yale University Press, 2009p.334
  • Snodin, Michael (ed.) Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill London and New Haven, 2009, cat.248, p.330.
  • Barovier Mentasti, R. and Tonini, C. Murano, chefs-d'oeuvre de verre de la Renaissance au XXIe siecle. Paris: Gallimard, 2013.p.93
  • Canaletto & Venezia (Milan: Museum Musei, 2019).p.325
  • Cooper, Tarnya, Paper cities: topography and imagination in urban Europe, c.1490-1780, University College London, 2003
Other Number
8970 - Glass gallery number
Collection
Accession Number
C.185-1936

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record createdDecember 13, 1997
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