Giovanni Battista Cimaroli (Salò 1687-after 1753 Venice)
The Piazza San Marco, Venice oil on canvas 89 x 137.5cm (35 1/16 x 54 1/8in).
PROVENANCE: With Frost and Reed, London, 1961 Sale, Bonhams, London, 6 December 2006, lot 46 (purchased for £218,400) and thence by descent to the present owner
LITERATURE: F. Spadotto, Giovan Battista Cimaroli, catalogo ragionato dei dipinti (Rovigo, 2011), cat no. 70, pp. 220-221, ill.
The present work may be compared to a group of Venetian vedute painted by Cimaroli, which has close stylistic affinities to the work of Luca Carlevarijs (compare, in particular, a View of the Piazza San Marco, which was with Franco Semenzato, July 1987, lot 55; and a View of the Molo from the west with the Doge's Palace, also with Franco Semenzato, Venice, 13 June 1993, lot 20).
As Francesca Spadotto points out in her recent publication, Cimaroli's oeuvre exhibits an obvious indebtedness to the forerunner of the 18th century Venetian vedutismo, Luca Carlevarijs: although the younger artist shared the older's interest in the depiction of the daily life of the Serene Republic, the former developed his own personal style, characterised by his dry and sharp brushwork and his particular rendering of light, which made him especially popular with foreign patrons.
Cimaroli, who trained with the battle painter, Antonio Calza, in Brescia before moving to Venice and joining Canaletto's workshop, specialised in landscape and vedute, the two most popular genres in early 18th century Venice. Considered one of Canaletto's major rivals, he found favour among contemporary art critics and enjoyed several commissions from the local nobility, as well as from illustrious foreign residents and Grand Tourists. Many of his works were commissioned and sent to London and elsewhere in Britain.