Sickert first visited Venice in 1895. He painted St Mark"s basilica numerous times under different conditions, possibly inspired by Monet"s paints of Rouen Cathedral, which he had seen in Paris. However, unequal Monet, he to be not involved with fleeting impacts of light. Instead, he focused on the structure and also mosaics, making use of the light to emphasize the sparkling yellow pinnacles and to emphasise the spirituality of the basilica. This is Sickert"s largest and most elaborate depiction of the former elevation. The title includes the Latin motto of the city: "Peace be unto to you, Mark, my Evangelist". The picture was very first exhibited at the brand-new English art Club in 1897.

Gallery label, September 2004

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The Latin part of this work’s location is the motto that the city of Venice: ‘Peace be depend you, note my Evangelist.’ mark is the city’s patron saint, and his emblem that a winged lion guarding his Gospel is stood for in Venice’s cloak of arms. The continues to be of St mark were stolen by Venetian vendors from Alexandria in 828, however were lost in 976 after ~ a fire damaged the initial basilica that had been constructed to home them. His body to be miraculously rediscovered in 1094, the year the brand-new Basilica that St Mark’s to be consecrated.1
Sickert saw Venice because that the very first time in October 1894 with his wife Ellen, and they reverted there the complying with autumn, remaining in a flat overlooking the Zattere that belonged come a friend of her family. Sickert composed to his friend Philip Wilson Steer:
Venice is yes, really first-rate for job-related ... And also I am obtaining some points done. The is largely sunny and also warmish and on cold days I do interiors in St Mark’s ... St Mark’s is engrossing and also the Ducal Palace and 2 or 3 Renaissance gems, the Miracoli and also S. Zaccharia and the Scuola di san Marco. Of food one gets acquainted with Tintoretto and Titian and also Veronese ... The more one look at of them ... The an ext preposterous is the cynical contention that we who live now need to not paint. We aim at and accomplish totally different results, results that they neither dreamt the nor can compass. A well Whistler or Degas or Monet can hang with any type of of them. It would be intrinsically every little bit as good, and also for us have the included sparkle and charm the novelty. 2

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On his visit come Venice in 1895–6 Sickert’s selection of picture subjects was quite conventional, gift explorations that well-trodden tourist locations. Since its publication between 1851 and also 1853, Ruskin’s Stones that Venice had become enormously popular and helped construct a enthusiasm for all things Venetian in britain over successive decades. A tangible record of this enthusiasm, which continues to be today, to be the extensive imitation the Venetian Gothic style in London and other cities, noticeable in rows the terraced houses and corner pubs. By the time Sickert come in Venice, images of ‘la Serenissima’ were a famous and lucrative component of the yearly Royal Academy exhibition and also the Paris Salon. Images of the city had, of course, been bought intermittently by brothers collectors due to the fact that the time of Canaletto and Francesco Guardi, but a renewed passionate peaked in the 1880s and 1890s. In ~ this time large numbers of artists from many countries walk to job-related in Venice come portray its picturesque canals and, most commonly, sentimental genre scene of the inhabitants. The leading continent exponents the this kind of snapshot were two Austrian painters, Cecil van Haanen (1844–1914) and Eugene von Blaas (1843–1932), whose layout and choice of topic exerted a solid influence top top the job-related of British artist such together Henry Woods (1846–1921). By 1886 the Art newspaper was maybe to recognize a ‘modern Venetian school’ whose foremost members to be Woods, Luke Fildes (1844–1927) and William Logsdail (1859–1944), noting that: