Houses in Venice

perhaps 1867, Frederic, Lord Leighton

The Gere Collection, on long-term loan to the National Gallery, © Private collection 2000. Used by permission

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This view is probably from a hotel window in Venice, as the vertical band of paint at far right suggests a window frame. At left, a tall thin cypress, its tip caught in the sunlight as it breaks above the roofline, rises from a courtyard. Long shadows fall across the roof that runs across the middle ground of the painting, while brilliant touches of light, perhaps reflected from the water of a canal far below, dance across the wall. This is one of Leighton's most original oil sketches.

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