Sickert was thought to be one of the most important British artists at the turn of the century.
Doge's Palace portrays the magnificent Ducal Palace - the seat of the Venetian government, from an angle looking along the front of the palace from the left-hand corner with the monolithic granite column of the Lion of St Mark standing to the side symbolizing the wealth, power and prestige of the state.
He has not, however, chosen the usual vista, rather this work building Sickert believed that ‘the artist existed to disentangle from nature the illumination that brings out most clearly the character of each scene’ (Sickert, 'French Pictures at Knoedler's Gallery', Burlington Magazine, July 1923). In this work he has left out the famous lagoon thus focusing our attention on the building. By painting from such an acute angle the Gothic palace fills the entire canvas and exceeds it, with the effect of emphasizing the grandeur of the building. The small shifting figures on the piazza below, noted by dabs of paint, add to the sense of physical scale and majesty of the architecture. Sickert at this time was interested in the effects of light at different times of the day on the façade of St Mark’s Square. Here, using his unique vision of impressionism, he captures the pink glow of reflected sunlight on the decorative brickwork above the colonnades and contrasts this with the rich crimsons of the shadows below to illuminate the grand façade of this stately building.