Graphite and watercolor, heightened with white on buff paper
Image: 43.1 x 29.7 cm (16 15/16 x 11 11/16 in.); Sheet: 43.1 x 29.7 cm (16 15/16 x 11 11/16 in.); Primary mount: 47.2 x 33.8 cm (18 9/16 x 13 5/16 in.); Secondary mount: 49.7 x 36.4 cm (19 9/16 x 14 5/16 in.)
Gift of Lowell Libson & Jonny Yarker Ltd in honor of the Swetland family 2021.109
Opaque watercolor, also called gouache, or bodycolor, is watercolor paint made opaque with the addition of chalk, white pigment, or white paint.
Venice was one of the primary subjects of the British artist James Holland, and his works satisfied the 19th-century popular imagination of a romantic Venice, with its sun-kissed buildings, gondolas, and quaint bridges. The present sheet was executed during a trip to Venice in 1857. Holland worked on a buff-colored sheet of paper, sketching the composition in graphite, and then painting with watercolor in rust, pink, grey, and aqua, and light blue and white opaque watercolors. The unfinished section on the side of the palazzo at upper left suggests that this drawing was kept by Holland in his studio for his own reference or pleasure.
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