Our latest product focus celebrates one of our stunning silk pocket squares, The Triumph of Venice, by Pompeo Batoni. Venice, also known as the 'City of Canals', is arguably one of Italy's and Europe's most picturesque cities. With its winding canals, striking architecture, and beautiful bridges, Venice is a popular destination for travel.
The Triumph of Venice celebrates the flourishing of the fine arts under the Doge Lionardo Loredan, governor of Venice, in the early sixteenth century. Below we will explore the rich history behind the painting, alongside our favourite places to visit in the famous northeastern Italian city.
Did You Know? Venice was actually built by driving long pointed poles of wood straight down into the seafloor. Two layers of horizontal planking were then laid out, and finally, layers of stone were added to make up the foundation of the city.
Explore Further: The Triumph of Venice Pocket Square
ABOUT THE PAINTING
The Triumph of Venice was painted in 1737 and depicted the rebirth of the fine arts in the Venetian Republic in the early 16th century under the Doge Leonardo Loredan, one of the most successful Doges of Venice.
Through his use of a variety of Roman deities, Batoni alludes to the city's command of the fine arts (Minerva, right) and the city's power over the seas (Neptune, left) and the wartime successes (Mars, centre). Set against a backdrop of St Marks Square, and the Doge's Palace, this is a genuinely triumphal depiction of Venice.
At some time in the history of the painting, the extended leg of the figure of Neptune was painted over, possibly at the whim of a previous collector, and has now been uncovered as the artist initially intended painting.
The Triumph of Venice - Full Painting
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Pompeo Girolamo Batoni (25 January 1708 – 4 February 1787) was an Italian painter who was best known for his portrait work and his numerous allegorical and mythological pictures. Batoni was born in Lucca, Italy and was the son of a goldsmith, Paolino Batoni and his wife, Chiara Sesti.
Batoni won international fame largely thanks to his customers, mostly British of noble origin, whom he portrayed, often with famous Italian landscapes in the background. He was in great demand for portraits, particularly by the British travelling through Rome, who took pleasure in commissioning standing portraits set in the milieu of antiquities, ruins, and works of art. There are records of over 200 portraits by Batoni of visiting British patrons.
Self portrait of Batoni, one of the best Italian painters of his time.
Although Batoni was considered the best Italian painter of his time, contemporary chronicles mention his rivalry with Anton Raphael Mengs. After Mengs departed for Spain in 1761, Batoni became a highly-fashionable painter in Rome. Batoni aimed his painting to the restrained classicism of painters from earlier centuries, such as Raphael and Poussin, rather than to the work of the Venetian artists, which were popular at the time.
Batoni's style took inspiration and incorporated elements of classical antiquity, French Rococo, Bolognese classicism, and the work of artists such as Nicolas Poussin, Claude Lorrain, and especially Raphael. As such, Pompeo Batoni is considered a precursor of Neoclassicism.
5 FACTS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT VENICE
Venice is a place filled with colourful architecture, stunning waterways and a glittering lagoon. Where else in the world could you imaging reaching historic palazzos, churches and museums by boat?
It may not come as a surprise to hear that Venice, famed for it romantic gondola rides, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. Below we explore five facts you may not be aware of around this beautiful city.
1. Venice Is Made up of 118 Islands
The city of Venice is actually made up of a number of different islands, each with different characters and landmarks. That will explain why there are over 400 bridges within the city.
2. The Word ‘Ciao’ Originated From Venice
Its origins stem from the Venetian greeting ‘s-ciavo vostro’, meaning ‘your slave’. This was later truncated until it formed the commonly used word for goodbye that we know today.
3. Venice Is Actually Sinking
Now this one may not be a surprise, as it’s common knowledge that Venice is sinking by around 2mm per year. This is due to both human and natural causes, which is why the city often floods in October-December.
4. There Has Only Been One Female Gondolier On Record
Historically, being a gondolier was strictly a male profession, mainly due to the trade being kept with closely guarded secrets, passed down the generations from fathers to their sons. However, in 2010 Giorgia Boscolo, herself the daughter of a gondolier, made history by becoming the first woman to pass the strict exam to become a gondolier. Girl power indeed!
5. Venice Was Founded By Refugees
The origins of Venice are a little bit of a mystery, but historians think that the city was established by people from nearby Roman cities, fleeing invasions by Germanic and Hun tribes in the 5th century AD. The Venetian lagoon turned out to be the perfect hiding place for refugees seeking to avoid the turmoil and violence at the end of the Roman Empire.
WHAT POCKET SQUARE FOLDS TO USE FOR A WEDDING
We believe The Triumph of Venice Pocket Square makes for the perfect wedding outfit, as it’s suitable with a variety of jacket styles and colours, due to its complementary and rich colour palette. To help with your wardrobe choices, we recently gave an insight into some of our favourite pocket square folds to use with your tailored jacket.
In the short video below, as part of our YouTube Pocket Square Fold Series, Alex explores four classic pocket square folds that are perfect to use for a wedding.