Venice Seen from the Lagoon, with Bragozzi in the Foreground by William Wyld


William Wyld

Londres, 1806 – 1889

Venice Seen from the Lagoon, with Bragozzi in the Foreground

Watercolor and Arabic gum. Signed Wyld lower right.

212 x 335 mm – 8 3/8 x 13 3/16 in.


Of British origin, Wyld and his family had settled in France in his childhood. He first worked in diplomacy, then in the wine business while learning to draw in his free time, with the watercolorist François Louis Thomas Francia. During a trip to Alger, Wyld met Horace Vernet who encouraged him to seriously consider dedicating to painting and invited him to Rome.


After an extensive tour in Italy with Émile-Aubert Lessore, he went to Paris where he settled permanently and received many commissions on Orientalist and Venetian themes. The painting Venice at Sunrise he exhibited at the 1839 Salon was widely lauded and received a gold medal. He became closer of the Romantic painters such as Ary Scheffer and Paul Delaroche, visited Brittany and began to exhibit in Great Britain from 1848 onwards at the Royal Academy and at the New Water-Colour Society. In 1879, he became a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour. Although he also painted in oil, it is in watercolor that he made numerous views of all the cities he visited during his many trips to Europe. This technique owned him many great mundane and artistic successes, the brightest of all certainly being invited by Queen Victoria to paint views of her favorite residence, Balmoral, in September 1852.


His most sought after works remain his views of Venice, always very successful at the Salon. Like so many 19th century artists, Wyld was enthralled by the city’s unique atmosphere. In this beautiful watercolor, Venice is only seen in the distance, from the lagoon, in a misty but luminous atmosphere. Here, Wyld mainly focuses on the bragozzi, the large and flat fishing boats, characteristic of the Adriatic Sea and particularly of Venice. The rich geometric patterns painted on their sails in ocher-brownish tones indicated their owner’s identity and were proper to evoke the Oriental world just outside Venice. The Serenissima only appears beneath the boats, luminous and horizontal, through a haze, as if emerging from water.


Good condition. Mounted with false margins, on Japan paper.

Framing options

Pas de cadre, Cadre Louis XVI plat Or (4cm), Cadre Louis XVI plat Noir et Or (4cm), Cadre plat (4cm) teinté ébène, Cadre inversé (3,3 cm) teinté ébène, Cadre Louis XVI or (3cm)