Rubens Santoro’s first encounter with Venice dates back to 1880, while he only began to stay there in 1884. The city fascinated him and he immediately decided to try his hand at urban views.
He thus began a new line of painting, best understood when compared with that of his southern landscapes, because, like these, the urban views of Venice offered him motifs that correspond to his sensitivity, as well as fitting into the wake of the glorious tradition of Venetian vedutismo of the eighteenth century.
Santoro's descriptions of the Venetian cityscape vibrate with the spirit of those who live in and love this city and adopt it as their own. Venice is perfectly suited for him, for his pensive, shy life, linked above all to family affections.
The scenic Rio di Ognissanti is to be read as an intimate annotation that excludes any abandonment to descriptive complacency and concentrates on the evocative power of the color ranges, the underlying emotion of the painter. In this canvas, the artist revives the power of illusion of painting, the ability to capture a moment in life as a colorful spectacle. In the rigour of perspective and in the fitting composition and verticality of the painting, the panorama along the rio and the precious nobility of Santoro is revealed.
(Mongrassano 1859 - Naples1942)
Canale Veneziano. Rio di Ognissanti, Venice, c. 1885
Oil on canvas, 41.3 x 33.7 cm
Signed lower right: Rubens Santoro
Scott & Sons, Montreal (Canada); Private collection, Montreal (Canada)