Dec 30, 2009

Venice: Saint Mark's Looking toward San Giorgio Maggiore, in Moonlight

Venice: Saint Mark's Looking toward San Giorgio Maggiore, in Moonlight

c. 1870

Carlo Naya

(Italian, 1816-1882)

Albumen print

Image: 42.3 x 53.7 cm (16 5/8 x 21 1/8 in.); Paper: 42.3 x 53.7 cm (16 5/8 x 21 1/8 in.); Matted: 61 x 76.2 cm (24 x 30 in.)

Dudley P. Allen Fund 2009.350


Did you know?

Nowadays Venice usually receives between 26 and 30 million visitors annually.


This romantic view of a nearly empty, moonlit Piazza San Marco is a tourist’s dream of Venice—and dream it is, rather than reality. The light-sensitive coatings of photographic negatives around 1870 were unable to record such detail in the dark, so Carlo Naya photographed his celebrated nocturnes during the day then manipulated the exposure in the darkroom. The highlights on the water and on the columns on the right, along with all the gaslight flames, were hand painted on the negative (he missed one lamp on the left). The sun, conveniently hidden behind a cloud, becomes the moon.

See also
Type of artwork: 
Albumen print
Credit line: 
Dudley P. Allen Fund

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email