01 Painting of the Canals of Venice, MARTÍN RICO Y ORTEGA, RIO DI SAN BARNABA, with footnotes. #85
A native of Spain, Martín Rico y Ortega was captivated by Venice and dedicated his oeuvre to recording its architecture, people and daily life. This work, set on the Rio di San Barnaba, features the Chiesa di San Barnaba in the foreground with Santa Maria dei Carmini beyond. More on this painting
The Chiesa di San Barnaba is a small Neoclassical-style church in the district of Dorsoduro in Venice. It is dedicated to the Apostle Saint Barnabas.
A church at the site was built in the ninth century, but destroyed by fire in 1105. Rebuilt in 1350, it was reconstructed in its present form in 1776 . The 11th-century campanile, detached from the main body of the church, has a pine-cone shaped spire from the 1300s.
A scene in the 1989 film Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was shot in the Campo San Barnaba in front of the church, with the church’s façade as an imaginary library. More on The Chiesa di San Barnaba
Martín Rico y Ortega (12 November 1833, El Escorial — 13 April 1908, Venice, Italy) was a Spanish painter of landscapes and cityscapes. Rico was one of the most important artists of the second half of the nineteenth century in his native country, and enjoyed wide international recognition.
Rico was born in Madrid and received his earliest formal training at the city’s Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, where he studied under Jenaro Pérez Villaamil. In 1860, having been awarded a government-sponsored scholarship, Rico moved to Paris to continue his studies.
His landscapes depict the French and Swiss countryside in a fully accomplished Realist style. Toward the end of 1870, due to political and social unrest caused by the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War, Rico decided to leave France and return to his native Spain.
Rico moved to the southern city of Granada, joining Fortuny and his wife Cecilia, as well as the painter Ricardo de Madrazo. The three artists worked closely during this period, with the styles of Rico and Fortuny overlapping so much that their watercolors — a specialty for both artists — were often confused for one another. It was during this time that, through Fortuny’s influence, Rico’s paintings began to reveal a newfound sense of luminosity and color. His time in Andalucía was, according to his memoirs, one of his happiest, and also one of his most artistically productive periods. More on Martín Rico y Ortega
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