Artificial Intelligence: Illustrations of Venice

When you think of Venice, you may imagine a certain colour palette. But take a look at the illustrations and paintings below and it becomes clear: There’s no such thing as a ‘Venice palette’. It’s entirely possible to depict Venice as ominous and sinister, as well as beautiful.

Venice Canal Afternoon Jane Peterson 1920
Francis Cadell 1910 Venice
John Singer Sargent (American,1856 – 1925) Venetian Passageway, 1905
Maria Malibran, Hotel Malibran and Nane Moras Restaurant, Venice. An illustration for a postcard.
Venice by Maurice Prendergast c.1898 – c.1899
The Bridge of Sighs. Illustration by G. Fernand c 1900. Someone has written on the postcard in French that the illustrator has made a mistake because the women in Venice always wear black shawls.
‘Venice in London.’ (1920) Dora Meesom
Bernie Fuchs, Merchant of Venice c.1980
Dulac, Venice from The London Illustrated News, 1912
Alfred Sisley 1839–1899) Snowtime-in Venice, Nadon 1880. It doesn’t snow in Venice very often, but when it does, it does!
Georges Dorival (1879 - 1968) 1921 travel poster illustration for Venice
Georges Dorival (1879 – 1968) 1921 travel poster illustration for Venice

Ex-pat American artist John Singer Sargent especially loved Venice. He made numerous trips to paint the waterways between 1902 and 1912. He worked in watercolour because watercolour captures the light.

‘Venetian Passageway.’ John Singer Sargent
1905, John Singer Sargent, view of a sotto portego, or passageway, off the Rio della Misericordia in Venice


Now, using stock photos of Venice I’m going to create some brand new paintings of Venice. First, I’m using the colour palette of a completely non-Venice related painting by Gabriele Münter. Let’s see what the AI generator does with it.

Kochel, Snowy Landscape with Houses, 1909 Gabriele Münter, (German 1877 – 1962)

Not too bad. Large brush strokes obfuscate the details somewhat. Is this Venice? Could be. It’s kept the nice black outline of the woman walking on the left.

Made with Night Cafe Studio

These are perhaps the ‘storybook colours’ of Venice. This time I’ll use the style of an actual painting of Venice.

In Venice Paul Cornoyer (American impressionist painter, 1864-1923)

There’s some purple and green in the sky which I don’t really want. It’s a little dark down in that bottom left corner. Other than that, not too bad?

A view of Venice Paul Cornoyer style, done with Deep Dream Generator

Now to the brightly coloured buildings of Burano Island. For this we need a bright style illustration so I’ll borrow the style of Kenneth Steel, famous for his travel posters.

Stock photo of Burano Island, Venice
Kenneth Steel (1906 – 1970) mid 20th century travel poster illustration for Majorca

Yes, very nice. Some hand painting would make this image even better, with a clean up of the details.

Burano Island Kenneth Steel style, done with Night Cafe Studio

The header painting is an AI generated work using the style of a Takanori Oguisu painting.


On paper, things look fine. Sam Dennon recently inherited significant wealth from his uncle. As a respected architect, Sam spends his days thinking about the family needs and rich lives of his clients. But privately? Even his enduring love of amateur astronomy is on the wane. Sam has built a sustainable-architecture display home for himself but hasn’t yet moved into it, preferring to sleep in his cocoon of a campervan. Although they never announced it publicly, Sam’s wife and business partner ended their marriage years ago due to lack of intimacy, leaving Sam with the sense he is irreparably broken.

Now his beloved uncle has died. An intensifying fear manifests as health anxiety, with night terrors from a half-remembered early childhood event. To assuage the loneliness, Sam embarks on a Personal Happiness Project:

1. Get a pet dog

2. Find a friend. Just one. Not too intense.




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