1743. Oil on canvas. Royal Collection, UK. More.
Capriccio: the Horses of San Marco in the Piazzetta. The gilded bronze horses of San Marco are one of the great treasures of Venice. They are thought to be ancient, although their precise origin and date is not clear. It appears they were taken from Constantinople when the Venetians sacked the city in 1204. In the 1740s the horses were above the entrance to San Marco. They were only removed from this position in 1798 when Napoleon’s troops overtook the city and were then taken to Paris, but returned to Venice in 1815. See the true position of the horses above the main door of the church of San Marco in Piazza San Marco: looking South-East.