Jane Peterson first visited Venice in 1907 and returned several times over the course of her successful career. Like many painters, she was inspired by the city’s historic architecture and crystalline waterways. Campo Santa Margherita, Venice depicts the town square in the Dorsoduro district, and the sculptural flagpole in the painting, a memorial to the Italian soldiers lost during World War I, still stands there today. Crowds traverse the square, captured in Peterson’s iconic manner of gestural, beautifully efficient strokes. The painting is rendered with the pleasing contrast of warm and cool tones found in much of Peterson’s Venetian work, as well as the strong, impasto brushstrokes which convey a feeling of depth and vitality.
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Peterson’s contribution to the advancement of American art was celebrated by the American Historical Society in 1938, when they named her ‘outstanding individual of the year’ (only the second woman to be so named), and by the Allied Artists of America, who presented the Testimonial Award in 1952. Today her spirited depictions of her favorite painting grounds and beloved flowers can be found in museum collections across the country, including the Metropolitan Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Pennsylvania Academy, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Terra Foundation for American Art in Chicago, and in Washington, DC, at both the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
Jane Peterson estate sale, O. Rundle Gilbert Auctioneers, Ipswich, Massachusetts, August 1966
To private collection, Boston, Massachusetts, 1966
To private collection, West Hollywood, California, for decades
(handwritten label found on a piece of the original stretchers, affixed to the newer stretchers) 6 / Venice / 1959 Union Bank / 245 1 Ave NY
Joseph, J. Jonathan. Jane Peterson, An American Artist (Boston, MA, 1981), illus. p. 53
Exhibition of Paintings by Jane Peterson of Gloucester and Venice, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, May 1 – June 10, 1924, no. 6, Campo Santa Margherita, Venice
Campo Santa Margherita, Venice
by Jane Peterson (1876-1965)
24 7/8 x 31 1/8 inches
Signed lower right: JANE PETERSONCirca 1923
Price upon request