What To Do with Mediocre Painting? The (Ab)uses of Vincenzo Chilone’s The Return of the Horses to San Marco

By Thomas E. Schweigert.

Published by The International Journal of the Arts in Society: Annual Review

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The Venetian painter Vincenzo Chilone (1758–1839) is at best a footnote in conventional art history. Many of his works are in private hands, as museums do not strive to have a “Chilone.” Chilone’s most well-known work is “The Return of the Horses to San Marco” (1815), which, because of its historical subject matter, has appeared in books about Venice. Typically, though, Chilone is not mentioned, and the text may not even explicitly refer to the painting, which "speaks for itself." A close examination of this painting, which no one seems to have done, reveals more than meets the eye at a casual glance. “The Return of the Horses to San Marco” can be read subversively as an anti-Austrian lament for the fall of Venice.

Keywords: Art History, Venice, Vincenzo Chilone, Horses of San Marco

The International Journal of the Arts in Society: Annual Review, Volume 9, pp.19-36. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.322MB).

Dr. Thomas E. Schweigert

Professor, Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, Wisconsin, USA