Title: An Island in the Lagoon with a Gateway and a Church
Date: 1743–44
Artist: Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal)
Italian, 1697–1768
Medium: oil on canvas
20 1/8 x 27 in. (51.1 x 68.6 cm)
framed: 27 3/4 x 34 7/8 in. (70.5 x 88.6 cm)
Credit Line: Friends Fund
Object Number: 12:1967
Place made: Venice, Veneto, Italy
Current Location: On View, Gallery 202
Seemingly a painting of a specific spot on the Venetian lagoon, this picture is actually a fanciful confection composed of elements that Canaletto sketched during several walking tours near Venice. The painter has combined the lagoon with buildings from nearby Padua and a bell tower from yet a third location to create this subtly balanced poetic grouping of simple structures. A specialist in views of Venice, Canaletto sold his paintings to English travelers eager for mementoes of their Italian trips.
Signed: unsigned
by 1768 - 1942
William Irby Boston (1706/1707-1775), 1st Baron, Hedsor Lodge, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England; Frederick Irby Boston (d.1825), 2nd Baron, by inheritance; George Irby Boston (1777-1856), 3rd Baron, by inheritance; George Ives Irby Boston (d.1869), 4th Baron, by inheritance; Florance George Henry Irby Boston (d.1877), 5th Baron, by inheritance; George Florance Irby Boston (d.1941), 6th Baron, by inheritance [1]

1942/03/06 -
Leger Galleries, Ltd., London, England, purchased at the sale of the Boston collection, Christie's, London, March 6, 1942, lot no. 52 [2]

by 1962 -
Mrs. John Hall

- 1966
Patrick C. Hall, Longford Hall, Newport, Shropshire, England, possibly by inheritance

1966/07/06 - 1967
Georges Bernier, Paris, France, and E. V. Thaw & Co., New York, NY, USA (owned jointly), purchased at auction of the Hall collection, Sotheby's, London, July 6, 1966, lot no. 65 [3]

1967 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Bernier and Thaw [4]

The main source for this provenance is the catalogue raisonné, cat. no. 488 [Constable, W.G. "Canaletto: Giovanni Antonio Canal, 1697 1768." 2nd ed. Oxford; New York: Clarendon Press, 1989, cat. no. 488]. Exceptions and other supporting documents are noted.

This painting is part of a pair. The other painting from the pair, "Capriccio: an Island in the Lagoon, with a Church and a Column" (Constable 487), shares the same history with this painting until they were separated following the 1966 Hall collection auction.

[1] According to the catalogue raisonné, the painting was said to have been bought by Lord Boston in Italy and to have remained with the family since it was painted. Canaletto died in 1768. If the painting was purchased from the artist as Constable suggests, then this would have been the latest that the painting could have entered the Lord Boston Collection.

[2] See the auction catalog ["Catalogue of Pictures by Old Masters, the Property of the Right Hon. the Late Lord Boston." Christie's, London, March 6, 1942, lot no. 52].

[3] Georges Bernier is listed as the purchaser in the Sotheby's auction catalog ["Catalogue of Important Old Master Paintings." Sotheby's, London, July 6, 1966, lot no. 65; list of buyers and prices, SLAM document files]. Correspondence between the Saint Louis Art Museum and Bernier indicates that Bernier owned the painting jointly with Thaw when it was sold to the Museum [letter dated March 1, 1967, SLAM document files].

[4] Invoice dated May 23, 1967 from E. V. Thaw & Co. [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control and Associate Members of the Board of Control of the City Art Museum, May 11, 1967.
Exhibition History
Title: Venice in St. Louis
Date: May 30 - July 2, 1972
Venue: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Painters of Venice: The Story of the Venetian 'Veduta'
Date: December 15, 1990 - March 10, 1991
Venue: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
Title: Venice in Canaletto's Age
Date: October 8, 2009–May 9, 2010
Venue: John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art
Venue: Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
Title: Eighteenth Century Venetian Paintings and Drawings
Date: March 1 – April 1, 1967
Venue: Galerie de l'Oeil
Title: Canaletto
Date: October 30, 1989 - January 21, 1990
Venue: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Title: Title unknown (1860, Canaletto)
Date: 1860
Venue: British Institution
Publication History
Title: Bernardo Bellotto and his circle in Italy. Part I: not Canaletto but Bellotto
Periodical Title: Burlington Magazine
Edition: October
Year Published: 2004
Title: Baroque into Rococo: Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Italian Paintings
Periodical Title: The Saint Louis Art Museum Bulletin
Author: Judith Mann
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: The St. Louis Art Museum: Handbook of the Collections
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Among Recent Acquisitions
Periodical Title: Bulletin of the City Art Museum of St. Louis
Edition: May - June
Year Published: 1968
Title: Canaletto
Year Published: 1989
Title: Census of Pre-Nineteenth Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections
Year Published: 1972
Title: Art at Auction: The Year at Sotheby's & Parke-Bernet
Publisher: Sotheby's
Publisher: Parke-Bernet Galleries
Title: Canaletto: una Venezia imaginaria
Author: Andre Corboz
Title: The Complete Paintings of Canaletto
Author: Lionello Puppi
Title: Collection in Focus: Early European Galleries
Periodical Title: Saint Louis Art Museum Magazine
Edition: July-September
Year Published: 2006
Title: Painters of Venice: The Story of the Venetian 'Veduta'
Author: Bernard Aikema
Title: Innovations in the Fine Arts
Publisher: United States Academic Decathlon
Title: Saint Louis Art Museum: Handbook of the Collection
Editor: Mary Ann Steiner
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: The Saint Louis Art Museum Handbook of the Collections
Editor: Mary Ann Steiner
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Venice in St. Louis
Author: Nancy Ward Neilson
Title: Catalogue of Pictures by Old Masters
Edition: March 6
Year Published: 1942
Title: Canaletto: Giovanni Antonio Canal, 1697-1768
Author: W. G. Constable
Title: Canaletto's Capriccio
Periodical Title: Art News
Edition: May
Year Published: 1967
Title: Looking/Learning:Vincent van Gogh, Visiting Near Arles
Periodical Title: School Arts
Author: Pamela Hellwege
Title: Quelques Tableaux et Dessins Venitiens du XVIIIe Siecle: Une Exposition à la Galerie de lOeil évoque l'esprit d'une civilisation attachante entre toutes
Periodical Title: L'Oeil
Edition: March 1967
Year Published: 1967
Title: Masters in the Art News
Periodical Title: Art News
Edition: May 1967
Year Published: 1967
Title: The Cover
Periodical Title: Journal of the American Medical Association
Edition: January 22/29
Year Published: 1997
Title: L'opera Completa del Canaletto, Classici dell'arte
Author: Giuseppe Berto
Author: Lionello Puppi
Title: La Chronique des Arts
Periodical Title: Gazette des Beaux-Arts
Edition: Février 1969
Year Published: 1969
Title: Canaletto: Giovanni Antonio Canal, 1697-1768
Author: W. G. Constable
Permalink to this object