Anthony J. Batten

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Publications
Selected Publications
book: Splash 8 from the book:
The Best in Watercolor SPLASH 8 Watercolor Discoveries
North Light Books 2003
It is possible to find a new view of an over-painted location
by Anthony J. Batten
ON THE GRAND TOUR, VENICE
On the Grand Tour, Venice 29” x 39” watercolor

One of the great difficulties facing modern artists is that of coming up with a contemporary statement. Virtually everything we would choose to depict has been tackled previously and, most discouragingly, very often by an acknowledged master. However, if one looks at these earlier images, it becomes apparent that they were simply capturing the details of contemporary life. Today’s Venice is basically a great tourist hub. One of the most painted spots on earth, the area around the Piazza San Marco, became the subject of my painting On the Grand Tour, Venice.

I searched for and found a view that I had never seen depicted before. The discovery of this view of the arcade of the Doge’s Palace from across an adjoining canal excited me. Combining this new view with today’s people – the casually sprawled tourists, backpackers and school groups – brought this corner of the famed city to life in a thoroughly contemporary way. This work was the final step in a process that included an on-site watercolor sketch of structures and pencil sketches of tourists with color notes, among other things. Several optional lighting schemes were developed before I settled on this one.