Piazza San Marco

Vincenzo Chilone

Venezia 1758 – 1839

Material: Oil on canvas

Size: 45 x 60 cm

review by gherardo turchi

Properly preserved, its narrative lyricism shows Piazza San Marco with a group of traders laying on the cobblestone to sell their goods. In the background, a procession from Palazzo Ducale, with several devout women kneeling down when it passes by, emphasizes the gravitas of the whole scene.

Its descriptive details, its chromatic features and its analytical accuracy for the surroundings – as well as the way the characters and the buildings are depicted – allow us to firmly ascribe it to Vincenzo Chilone’s own collection. He was one of the most important Venetian landscape painters between the XVIII and the XIX centuries.

Vincenzo Chilone was born in 1758 in Venice where he died in 1839. Since his childhood he successfully learned Canaletto’s artistical techniques and languages. Because of their amazing prospective features, his early paintings were often confused with his master’s ones.

He was well known in Venice, especially at the Accademia delle Belle Arti where he exhibited his paintings in 1832, 1838 and 1839. A lot of them now belong to  Ca’ Rezzonico collections, Venice, in addition to the pictures realised by the XVIII century most popular Venetian artists.

If Chilone’s Venice lagoon and Canal Grande paintings are said to be great, his adulthood artworks emphasize not only Canaletto’s main techniques, but also the Romanticism artistical languages which were about to widely catch on at that time.

The painting we are asked to analyse, for instance, is very similar to those he realised during the last quarter of the XVIII century.

This aspect is mainly emphasized by comparing “Piazza San Marco” with “Ritorno dei cavalli a San Marco”, a 59×64 cm painting, which is on show at Palazzo Treves, Venice (as a part of a private collection).

Its chromatic features and its astounding setting structure with characters and buildings in the foreground can prove that.

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