'St. Mark's Square', Italian oil painting by Paoletti

By Paoletti, Antonio Ermolao (Italian, 1834-1912)


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This beautiful painting is set in the Piazza San Marco in Venice, with the base of the Column of San Marco occupying the foreground. To the right, the receding arcade of the Palazzo Ducale leads to the half-concealed façade of Saint Mark’s Basilica in the background.

Three primary figures occupy the foreground: a young boy holding a basket of peaches, and two girls seated on the steps below the column, one of whom throws crumbs to pigeons while the other feeds a pigeon from her hand. Various other staffage figures populate the scene, lending the composition a sense of animation. The manner of execution is superb, with a mixture of fluid, painterly strokes interspersed with moments of delicate precision—such as the faces. The colour palette is subdued, demonstrating the effect of the slightly overcast sky visible top left.

The painting is held by an ornate carved giltwood frame and is signed lower right ‘Antonio Paoletti fu Giov_ni / Venezia’.

Antonio Ermolao Paoletti was a leading painter of genre scenes working in Venice in the latter 19th Century. Paoletti is celebrated today for his charged genre pictures, which in content hark back to older traditions while in technique recognise more recent 19th Century painterly advances.

A pendant painting for this work exists, visible in the final image of this listing, and is available for purchase here.

Frame: Height 70cm, width 95cm, depth 6cm
Canvas: Height 56cm, width 82cm, depth 2cm


Artist / Maker
By Paoletti, Antonio Ermolao (Italian, 1834-1912)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
Late 19th Century
Figurative Art, Genre, Urban Views / Townscapes
Giltwood, Oil on Canvas
Gold, Multi-coloured


70 cm / 27.6 inches
95 cm / 37.4 inches
6 cm / 2.4 inches


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