Emanuel Vidović, Chioggia (Vena Canal in Chioggia), 1898

Emanuel Vidović,
Chioggia (Vena Canal in Chioggia), 1898
oil on canvas, 24 x 15.5cm

Of the formative years that Emanuel Vidović (1870–1953) spent in the triangle of Venice – Milan – Chioggia, all writers emphasize the crucial role of Chioggia. Vidović’s artistic vision matured in this picturesque fishing village near Venice. It also left a permanent mark on the painter’s private life, since it was where Vidović met his wife, whom he would live with in Split from autumn of 1895. Vidović will keep going back to Chioggia and the Venice Biennale exhibitions throughout his life.

The small painting Chioggia (Vena Canal in Chioggia) from 1898, belongs to Vidović’s early period, marked by the painting of small studies rendered with spotty brushstrokes in the tradition of the Tuscan Macchiaioli. It was a group of artists who promoted spontaneous painting in plein air, with an emphasis on the relationship between light and shadow, which culminated during the period between 1854 and 1860. Also important during Vidović’s early period is the influence of Venetian vedutism and colourism, the modern interpretations of which are visible in the paintings of Ippolito Caffi, Bartolomeo Bezzi, Pietro Fragiacomo and especially Guglielmo Ciardi. These small-size paintings typically depict motifs of vedutas of Venice and Chioggia with canals, bridges and the surrounding architecture. These plain air studies from the formative period will gradually be replaced by Vidović’s characteristic portrayals of crepuscular marinas and vedutas in the style of Symbolism.

Text: Ivana Rončević Elezović, senior curator of the National Museum of Modern Art ©National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb
Translated by: Robertina Tomić
Photo: Goran Vranić©National Museum of Modern Art, Zagreb

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