Oil on canvas
34.1 x 74.7 cm
© Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza
The angle chosen here provides a sweeping view by presenting the canal practically on the same axis of penetration as the painting, or rather on the central perspective line, which is tentatively suggested by the diffuse reflection in the water of the white campaniles in the background and the projection in blue of their adjacent shadows in the water. With this approach the frontal presentation reinforces the picturesqueness of the double bridge. Whereas the left riva, parallel to the imaginary axis of penetration, follows and reinforces that direct view, the right one opens out sideways into a wide curve containing a palazzo, a leafy tree in the garden behind the wall and two moored boats. But the picturesqueness of this kind of view rests above all on the vivacity of the small, secondary details, such as the bottega with its striped awning, the small figures among the pigeons, the curb-stone of the well and the flowerpots and similar objects. Reyna Manescau painted versions of this small picture on many occasions – sometimes with the title A Venetian Canal – with only very slight variations. Here the most striking is the fastigio or triangular pinnacle on the front and side of the house on the left next to the building with the arches. The version entitled A Day in Venice saw the appearance in the painter's work of a technique less academic and closer to Impressionism in both method and colour.