Eighteenth Century Mashups

"Capriccio: St Paul's and a Venetian Canal" by William Marlow
"Capriccio: St Paul’s and a Venetian Canal" by William Marlow

A while ago Kate and I were watching a TV programme on history (or was it art) looking at Londoners’ fascination with Venice. They referenced the picture above ("Capriccio: St Paul’s and a Venetian Canal" by William Marlow). It’s a mock up of what Venice might look like if St Paul’s Cathedral had been built there (or what St Paul’s Cathedral would look like if it had been built in Venice). It’s stayed with me. It’s a striking image, a well loved and well known building so successfully moved out of it’s usual context that the artist helps us to see the building afresh. I wonder two things. Firstly is this an early example of mash-ups – two unrelated media pieces (albeit a city and a piece of architecture) juxtaposed creatively. Obviously neither media encourages such reuse, and mashing them together required considerable skill, but it has something of that feel. Secondly is this idea common? Are there lots of examples of transplanted buildings?

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