Little Venice

Italo De Grandi | Undated
Watercolour on paper | 16 x 25.5 cm
Period 1969-1984: The beauty of the world
Landscape with architecture
Inventory IDG-729 | Private
collection Photo L'Atelier De Grandi


Artistic features


Venice seen from the bottom of the lagoon in winter

A foggy silhouette snapshot of the city suspended between sky and water.


Horizontality | Parallelism


Watercolour on paper

Watercolour lends itself doubly to the subject of this work. It allows you to work very quickly, and therefore to capture the atmosphere of a particular moment. And its colours are essentially transparent, the water facilitating a distribution of pigments on the paper, so as to reflect the light directly, thus capturing a certain luminosity, even if diffuse; just like the lagoon which seems to create here, by itself, architectures-mirrors?


Dominant: 14011584

Three ranges of colours: the first luminous (the misty sky struggling to diffuse the softness of the winter sun), then two almost monochrome ranges: one diaphanous (water), the other similar but of dark value (the city against the light), as if Venice was only the result of a contraction of the water, blessed by the sky.



The grey weather, almost in the absence of direct sunlight, imposes here a uniform lighting, without orientation, without shade. Shapes are not defined by contrast but by their density.



1969-1984: The beauty of the world

Since 1978, Italo has been staying in Venice every winter, attracted by the infinite variations in the relationships between stone, water and sky, by the silent whims of the mists or the musical transparency of the air. He brings back armfuls of serene or tragic watercolours, sumptuous and delicate, enigmatic or merrily delighted at the fleeting moment, in which the threat of the impermanence of the city eaten away by erosion slides out of time.

Related artists:

Gérard de Palézieux

Gérard de Palézieux : Riva degli Schiavoni
Gérard de Palézieux (1919-2012), Riva degli Schiavoni, 1975
watercolor #21 for Venice Notebook

Fondation William Cuendet & Atelier de Saint-Prex, Vevey

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Little Venice