St. Mark’s Square, Venice, with Loggetta; William Wyld
Watercolor and ink, roughly 10 x 7 inches (25 x 18 cm); in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Use the Download or Enlarge links under the image on their page.
I love this beautiful ink and watercolor rendering, not just for its wonderful combination of precision and sketch-like freedom, but for its unusual view of St. Mark’s Square. There are dozens, if not hundreds of beautifully rendered paintings and drawings of that most famous of Venice’s public squares, but most are from the far end, looking down the full length of the plaza.
Here, Wyld gives us a much more intimate view, the kind you might encounter as you walked about the edges of the square, and with a daring composition as well. The dark, shadowed foreground presents the primary figures almost in silhouette against the lighter base of the campanile.
The differently colored tiles in the paving lead us back to the distant group of figures, and the angled view of the Loggetta brings us back out to more shadowed foreground.