View of Venice

Robert Salmon

Vista de Venecia

Salmon, Robert

Whitehaven, c.1775 - Cumberland, después de 1845

View of Venice, 1845

© Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza

Initialled and dated lower right: ''R.S. 1845''
Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection on loan to the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum

Oil on canvas

65,5 x 140,2 cm

CTB.1980.51

Artwork history

  • Williams & Sons, London, 1969.

  • Ira Spanierman, Inc., New York, 1970.

  • Andrew Crispo Gallery, New York, 1980.

  • Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Lugano, 1980.

  • Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection.

1982 - 1983

Nineteenth-Century American Landscape Painting: Selections from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Houston (TX), Museum of Fine Arts; Oklahoma City (OK), Oklahoma Art Center; Omaha (NE), Joslyn Art Museum, nº 41-42, p. 96.

1984 - 1985

Venice: The American View 1860-1920, San Francisco (CA), Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; Cleveland (OH), The Cleveland Museum of Art, nº 51.

1996

De Canaletto a Kandinsky. Obras maestras de la Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, nº 36-37, p. 118.

2012

Paisatges de llum, paisatges de somni. De Gauguin a Delvaux. Col·lecció Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Espai Carmen Thyssen, p. 54, illus. p. 55.

  • -”Catalogue of Robert Salmon’s Pictures 1828 to 1840”. In Wilmerding, J.: Robert Salmon: Painter of Ship & Shore. Salem (MA), 1971 , nº 26-27, illus.

  • -Warren, David B.: Nineteenth-Century American Landscape Painting: Selections from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection. [Exhib. Cat. Houston, Museum of Fine Arts – Omaha, Joslyn Museum of Art, 1982-1983]. Houston, The Museum of Fine Arts, 1982 , p. 96 [ Sheet by Warren].

  • -Novak, Barbara: Nineteenth-Century American Painting: The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection. Ellis, Elizabeth Garrity… [et al.]. London, Sotheby´s Publications, 1986 , nº 25-26, p. 120, illus. [ Sheet by Elizabeth Garrity Ellis].

  • -De Canaletto a Kandinsky. Obras maestras de la Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, [Exhib. Cat. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza], 1996 n. 36-37, p. 118.

  • -Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza. Arnaldo, Javier (ed.). 2 vols. Madrid, Fundación Colección Thyssen-Bornemisza, 2004, vol. 1, p. 234, illus. p. 235 [ Sheet by Elizabeth Garrity Ellis].

  • -Paisatges de llum, paisatges de somni. De Gauguin a Delvaux. Col·lecció Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Espai Carmen Thyssen,  [Exhib. Cat. Espai Carmen Thyssen], 2012, p. 54, lám. p. 55.

Expert report

Salmon first established his reputation in Boston with several panoramic canvases that a local newspaper praised as “indubitable tokens of great talent.” Among these projects was a view of the city commissioned as a drop curtain by the Federal Street Theatre in 1828. Two years later Salmon exhibited a series of 15-foot panoramas of the naval battle at Algiers, at least one of which was semi-transparent and could have been illuminated with special lighting effects. He had worked occasionally as a scenery painter since 1806, and his theatrical training may have influenced a pair of pictures that came to light in England in 1969. Painted more thinly and in a higher key that his Scottish or Boston scenes, View of Palermo and View of Venice are Salmon’s last known works. Their bright palette, deep orthogonals and crisp draftsmanship also reveal, of course, the long influence of Venetian veduta tradition on Salmon’s art.

Clearly initialled and dated “R.S. 1845”, the pair suggest that Salmon occasionally continued to paint on a large scale after failing eyesight curtailed his work in 1840. He returned to Europe -probably to England- two years later, and managed to execute only one or two paintings a year. Several of these late works are imaginary scenes based on engravings, photographs or the work of J. M. W. Turner. View of Venice, although containing a precisely-charted configuration of boats typical of Salmon’s Boston Harbour scenes, particularly recalls the heightened colour of Turner’s painting of the Adriatic city.

Elizabeth Garrity Ellis