William Callow, RWS (British, 1812–1908)

The Piazzetta, Venice

Signed and dated l.r.: Wm Callow/1870, watercolour over pencil with scratching out

37 x 27 cm; 14½ x 10⅝ inches

Exhibited: The Society of Painters in Water-colours, 1870, The Piazzetta, Venice.

This engaging watercolour shows the famous statues of the Lion of St Mark and St Theodore in the Piazzetta, which Callow draws teeming with life. A gondolier looking for business can be seen to the left of the composition while a lady in a red cloak and white shawl is in deep conversation with a soldier in the foreground, evoking characteristically Venetian pursuits.

Venice was Callow’s inspiration and he returned to the city throughout his life, always staying at the Hotel Europa facing the Grand Canal. Another watercolour of the Piazzetta dated 1877 is in the collection of the city of Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery (1953P51

framed work