Robert Parr after Marieschi
A view of the Doge's Palace at Venice with the Grand Landing Place before it. The Prison on the right hand, The Custom House & Entrance of the Grand canal in front
Etching in original hand colour by Parr after Marieschi; published in London in 1794.
This is surely one of the most romantic and evocative views of Venice that has continuously fascinated travellers throughout the centuries. Taken from out in the lagoon we see the imposing facade of the Doge's Palace alongside the entrance to The Grand Canal. The print is of historic significance: it dates from a pivotal moment in Venetian history. The Doges (elected dukes and leaders of the Venetian Republic) had ruled over the city since the C8th but in 1797 (only 3 years after this print was published) Venice was conquered by the French and fell under the jurisdiction of Napoleon and French Imperial power. Many English travellers had visited Venice on The Grand Tour throughout the C18th, an activity that immediately became more perilous once Napoleon was in charge. It clearly illustrates how volatile European boundaries were during the revolutionary period in France and the ensuing Napoleonic Wars.