The base of the palace
would be more
than likely the Grand Canal entrance to a palazzo. In a letter from
Jewell (bellow), she thinks Sargent has painted is of the Palazzo
All of these grand palaces have their front entrances onto the canal
of a paved street. Here, Sargent seems to be just interested in the
of the columns and this oriental pattern along the foundation.
Other Sargent paintings of canal entrances:
From: Janet Jewell
I live in North Devon, in England, and have just been browsing through your website (which I have enjoyed) . . .
I have been greatly interested in John Singer Sargent's work for a few years, the first work I saw of his was in York Art Gallery in Northern England. It was a charcoal drawing of a beautiful woman, whose name escapes me, and from that moment on I was hooked. I went to the exhibition at the Tate Gallery in London in 1999 and was absolutely overwhelmed. One of my favourite watercolours is 'Base of a Palace' painted in 1904 in Venice, which is possibly the base of the Palazzo Grimani. I went to Venice in 2000 and found the Palazzo Grimani with every intention of photographing the building, but unfortunately it was being restored and was covered in tarpaulins. I was very disappointed.
I loved your letter. I found an image of Palazzo Grimani. It's not the best but it helps.
There are three arched
the front facade - a larger middle one and two smaller ones which flank
it (I'm not sure what you call them). It appears Sargent is painting
base of the steps of the far right opening and is capturing the base of
that one window. I think you correct about this Palazzo. It looks very
much the same.