Bridge of Sighs

by / attributed to Gaston la Touche


DIMENSIONS: 10.5 x 15.3 inches (26.7 x 38.7 cm)
SIGNATURE: Signed ‘Gaston La Touche’ and annotated ‘Venezia’ (lower left)
MEDIUM: Oil on panel



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    French artist Gaston La Touche was a post-impressionist painter, draughtsman and  a leading colourist of the late nineteenth to early twentieth century, who associated with all the important artists of the period.

    The Bridge of Sighs is one of the most known bridges in the world, however it can it only be seen be seen from two places: Canonica Bridge and Ponte della Paglia. It connects the New Prison to the Doge’s Palace and the view from the bridge was the very last view that convicts would have seen before their imprisonment, being allowed one final glimpse of Venice’s beauty.

    Private Collection, United Kingdom;

    Private Collection, United Kingdom.

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    Gaston La Touche was born in St Cloud, France, in 1854. Although he received no formal artistic training, he came into contact with artist such as Edouard Manet and Felix Bracquemond with whom he shared a commitment to presenting the truth through their art.

    La Touche exhibited widely in Paris, at the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts and the Société des Peintres et Sculptures, as well as in London at the Fine Art Society. He was awarded the Légion d’honneur in 1900.

    Interestingly, during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the British looked to the continent in their search for origins or in pursuit of sources of purity and originality. This cult of the primitive took many forms, but these included the opening up of new ways of interpreting Venetian painting and the value of, as here, returning to religious subjects in art. La Touche’s ability to depict the Venetian architecture, the Venetian climate and Venetian people together transforms the canvas from one of pure genre and street scene interest into a work with a specific logic behind it.

    His work is held by the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Musée d’Orsay, Paris, the Walters Art Museum, Maryland.

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