Charles Garnier
The Doge's Palace

The courtyard of the Doge's palace in Venice
Charles Garnier (1825-1898)
The courtyard of the Doge's palace in Venice
Graphite and ink wash
H. 30,5; W. 45,1 cm
© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

Le palais des Doges [The courtyard of the Doge's palace in Venice]

The winner of the first Grand Prix de Rome in 1848, Charles Garnier discovered Italy the following year when he stayed at the Villa Medici. The theme of Venice in this watercolour is not unusual in his work, as his memories of the Venetian city frequently re-emerged throughout his career. However, it does not show any of the oriental influence that particularly marked the architect, and nor does it try to record the colours of the mosaics of Saint Mark's church.

This urban image is more an incisive study of the layout of the buildings, examining the strange juxtaposition of the cupolas of Saint Marks and the alignment of the facades of the Doge's Palace.

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