Thomas Bowles after Marieschi
A view from the Bridge Realto to Michaels House showing the House of the Germans on the right hand and on the left the Office of the Revenue
Etching in original hand colour by Bowles after Marieschi; published in London in 1794.
This iconic Venetian view is taken from the Rialto Bridge, one of the four bridges that span the Grand Canal. The bridge itself was first built as long ago as 1181 but this one (that we cannot actually see!) was built in stone between 1588 and 1591 and survives to this day. For obvious reasons it is one of the main tourist attractions in Venice offering an astonishing link with the C16th city and an unrivalled view of the Grand canal. Prints such as this were produced in all the major cities across Europe in the C18th and would have acted as souvenirs for those returning from The Grand Tour. They might have been purchased in the print shops of Rome, Venice and Naples or in Cheapside and Piccadilly when the weary traveller returned to London. Either way they give us a fascinating glimpse into the architecture, fashions and activity to be found in Venice at the end of the C18th.