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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Aquatic Scene with Three Men in a Gondola

Object Name:
Illustrated album leaf
late 16th–early 17th century
Attributed to Turkey
Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper
Page: H. 15 3/4 in. (40 cm) W. 10 7/8in. (27.6cm) Painting: H. 9 1/4 in. (23.5 cm) W. 7 1/4in. (18.4cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Margaret Mushekian Gift, 1985
Accession Number:
Not on view
This curious painting, perhaps created as a single-leaf composition destined for the album of a collector, depicts three figures in a gondola against an architectural backdrop based on the Isola di San Giorgio in Venice. The entire scene may be taken from an Italian engraving, as the landing stage in the foreground is an accurate depiction of a Venetian structure; yet the mountains in the background are an artistic fantasy. Depictions of Venice occur frequently in Ottoman maritime atlases, and Ottoman merchants were a constant presence in Venice, housed in the seventeenth century in the building on the Grand Canal today known as the Fondaco dei Turchi.
Charles Dikran Kelekian, New York (by early 1950s–d. 1982); [ Kelekian Associates, New York, 1982–85; sold to MMA]
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