Inscribed 'From my gondola'

Throughout his career as a painter, Edward Cooke travelled extensively in Europe, visiting France, Holland, Italy, Spain, North Africa and Scandinavia. Paintings and drawings resulted from all his travels, but it is evident that the places that provided the strongest fascination for him besides the southern coastline of England were the beaches and estuaries of Holland and the topography of Venice and Italy.

Cooke’s first visit to Venice was in 1850 and he returned there a further nine times before his last visit in 1877. It was on his second trip to Venice in 1851 that Cooke met and became friends with the critic John Ruskin.

This unusual view is a form of capriccio, looking out from the interior of his gondola beyond the prow and ‘ferro’ – its iron ornament – towards Venice and the dome of San Marco on the horizon. During his time in Venice the hire of a gondola was essential, and the same gondolier, Vicenzo Grilla, served Cooke faithfully through all this Venetian visits.

Object Details

ID: PAE5618
Type: Drawing
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Cooke, Edward William
Places: Unlinked place
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Measurements: 122 x 152 mm

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