Completed British 19th C, except portraits, Maritime Subjects 13 Who painted 'Italian Lake Scene', if not by Stanfield?

Topic: Painting description

Not by Stanfield, but a weak copy after his view of the Canal of the Giudecca and Church of the Gesuati, Venice (Tate, N00 4007),
which is Vernon Collection. A great deal of copying was allowed in Robert Vernon's gallery, before he left the collection to the nation at his death in 1847.

Pieter van der Merwe, Maritime Subjects, Entry reviewed by Art UK

Completed, Outcome

Alice Read,

The artist record has been changed to 'after' Stanfield and the title to 'The Canal of the Giudecca, and the Church of the Gesuati, Venice'.

The following description has also been added:
'The original painting by Stanfield is in the Vernon Collection, Tate Britain.'

These amends will appear on the Your Paintings website by the end of February 2015. Thank you to all for participating in this discussion. To those viewing this discussion for the first time, please see below for all comments that led to this conclusion.


Martin Hopkinson,

I told the Sheffield Museum through BBC Your Paintings that this was a view of the Fondamenta Zattere quite some time ago! - long before the arrival of Art Detective

Martin Hopkinson,

I think that Al Brown is right about it being autograph. Would a copyist adopt a totally different colour scheme? Stansfield's two paintings of Oude Schelde, Texel Island, looking towards Nieuwe Diep and the Zuyder Zee, one larger than the other, also have very different colour schemes, although their compositions are the same. In this case the larger picture in the Tate was exhibited in 1844. Many artists of this period repeated compositions on a smaller scale for the market. It seems likely that both the Sheffield picture and the Government Art Collection Oude Schelde are examples of this practice. They are surely too finished to be sketches.
If they had been earlier in date one might have posited that the smaller versions were painted first and shown to a possible patron, the artist telling his client that he could paint a larger version for him.

Martin Hopkinson,

I should have mentioned another possible explanation for the two versions of the same compositions. If these two pictures were both engraved , Stanfield may have needed to paint the smaller pictures for the engraver to work from in his studio. - in which case the choice of different colour schemes may also be connected to how Stanfield wished them to look tonally in the engravings.

I concur with Peter's original opinion when he first submitted the proposed discussion, that this is a poor copy of Stanfield's original in the Tate. I recommend the discussion is closed.

I agree with Andrew: this is simply 'after Stanfield' and the likelihood of identifying who did it is practically non-existent. (There are quite a lot of 'definitely nots' and 'doubtfuls' in the Stanfield list, including the one Al Brown cited for comparison -which is in the latter category- at the start of this exchange.)

Elmar O.,

Hello Pieter,

what a pleasure to meet the absolute expert, when it comes to marine paintings and especially works of Stanfield, here!
I agree with you, that this is a very bad copy of one of Stanfiels paintings. As i am interested in Stanfield senior and junior since many years, I saw a horrible list of bad copies and attributions over the years. Unfortunately not only in auctions, but even in museums. Like here:
and here:
(thes last one showing Cologne on the rhine, not just "a river scene", by the way).

I found it interesting, that this special subject of the "Italian Lake Scene" was copied so often. Several of the copies show the white building in the middle a bit closer, and some more people hanging around on the left.


PS: If you visit Berlin in the near or far future, drop me a line. I would be glad to show you my Stanfields..

Alice Read,

Hi Elmar
Just to note - if you believe certain attributions to be incorrect please do propose a discussion through Your Paintings, click on the Art Detective link at the side of the painting.
Many thanks.

Museums Sheffield,

We have changed our records to ‘after Stanfield’ and the title to 'The Canal of the Giudecca, and the Church of the Gesuati, Venice'. We would be very happy for Your Paintings to change this information also.

Alice Read,

I have now made the changes to the record. Would the Group Leaders advise this discussion should now be closed?

Fine, though as in the note I sent yesterday, it would be useful under 'Additional information' to have the note: 'The original painting by Stanfield is in the Vernon Collection, Tate Britain (Tate N00 4007)'