Artist Edward William Cooke began painting in oils in 1833, took formal lessons in 1834 and first exhibited at the Royal Academy and British Institution in 1835, by which time his style was essentially formed. He went on to travel and paint with great industry at home and abroad, indulging his love of the 17th-century Dutch marine artists with a visit to the Netherlands in 1837. He returned regularly over the next 23 years, studying the effects of the coastal landscape and light, as well as the works of the country’s Old Masters, resulting in highly successful paintings. This painting, from the Channel Islands Maritime Museum collection, is aptly titled Bella Venezia or Beautiful Venice.