Large Italian Painting of a Merchant Ship “The Venetian Workers’ Society Offers”


A unique work of art, this charming painting was hand painted in Italy in the mid-19th century.
Created to promote The Venetian Workers’ Society, this large hand-painted oil painting was painted on a wood board, then covered in tiny glass beads (see images) which add a unique visual element.
The Venetian Worker’s Society was one of the “friendly societies”** of northern Italian workers in the middle of the 19th century.
The image shows a sailing ship that also employed the new steam technology.
The ship is at anchor in the Port of Venice.
A gondola sweeps by in the foreground, and we see just a corner of St. Marks Square on the far left of the image (see image #4).
In the middle at the bottom of the frame is written La Societa Operaia Veneziana Offre (The Venetian Workers’ Society Offers) over the Lion of St. Mark, the Venetian Lion.

The inner part of the frame has parcel gilt, and the outer frame is maple.

The frame measures 33″ wide x 27″ height x 1” depth

Condition: Excellent, except for the back of the work, which has been taped to hold the picture in its frame (see image).

In stock

**Background of 19th Century Italian Workers’ Societies

During the second half of the 19th century, “friendly societies” flourished in Italy (especially in Central and Northern Italy). These were workers’ societies and provided support to their members in the form of education, mutual aid, and cultural events. In addition, many societies operated cooperatives, which allowed workers to pool their resources and collectively own and operate businesses such as bakeries and factories.
They predated trade unionism and were an essential element of Italian social life.

Background of Early Steamships

Circa 1840, the use of steam propulsion freed ships from their dependence upon the wind.

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