Giuseppe Bernardino Bison was an Italian painter, known principally for his history paintings, genre scenes, whimsical and imaginary landscapes. Bison was born in Palmanova but later moved to Brescia. He then moved to Venice, where he associated himself with Canaletto’s studio. Bison’s work was influenced by Tiepolo and Guardi as well as Marco Ricci, Giuseppe Zais and Antonio Diziani.
Giuseppe Bernardino Bison (1762-1844), View of St. Mark’s Square, Venice, with the Clock Tower to the right and St. Mark’s Basilica to the left,
Gouache on cardboard
5.9 x 7.8 in (15 x 20 cm)
This exquisite gouache shows the Piazza San Marco looking west from the Campo di San Basso.
The Italian flag features prominently in the centre of Bison’s composition. Although Italy was not formally united as a single country until 1861, the Italian Tricolore, with its distinctive red, white and green bands, was first used after Napoleon’s victorious army crossed Italy in 1797 by French republics in northern Italy, including the Cisalpine Republic, who styled the flag after the French Tricolore. The current form of the Italian flag was not adopted until 1946, when Italy became a republic.