The Element of Water
On View In:
Gallery 341
Artist:   Francesco da Ponte (Francesco Bassano)
Jacopo da Ponte (Jacopo Bassano)  
Title:   The Element of Water  
Date:   c. 1576-1577  
Medium:   Oil on canvas  
Dimensions:   56 11/16 x 74 5/8 in. (143.99 x 189.55 cm) (canvas) 66 1/2 x 83 5/8 in. (168.91 x 212.41 cm) (outer frame) 91 7/8 in. (233.36 cm) (diagonal, upper right to lower left) 91 9/16 in. (232.57 cm) (diagonal, upper left to lower right)  
Credit Line:   Bequest of Miss Tessie Jones, by exchange, the Ethel Morrison Van Derlip Fund, and the John R. Van Derlip Fund  
Location:   Gallery 341  

This nocturne, or night scene, shows a fish market being set up on a riverbank at dawn. The vendors display a variety of seafood, while other activities involving water, such as laundering, ferrying, and drinking, take place nearby. Above, Neptune, god of the sea, drives his chariot across the sky. The dramatically lit landscape with many figures and meticulously rendered still-life details represents a new type of pastoral scene devised by Jacopo Bassano and his son Francesco. The large Bassano family workshop produced several series of such landscapes--the Four Seasons, the Four Elements, the Months, and well-known biblical stories. This painting, in which scholars believe Francesco had the primary role, is from a suite of the Four Elements (Earth, Air, Fire, and Water).

Name:   Ponte (Francesco Bassano), Francesco da  
Nationality:   Italian (Venice)  
Life Dates:   Italian (Venice), 1549 - 1592  
Name:   Ponte (Jacopo Bassano), Jacopo da  
Nationality:   Italian (Venice)  
Life Dates:   Italian (Venice), 1510 – 1592  

Object Description  
Classification:   Paintings  
Creation Place:   Europe, Italy, , ,  
Accession #:   94.45  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts