Rosie Copeland & Gabrielle Moulding’s Venetian paintings: Landscapes from La Serenissima

We have a new collection of Venetian artworks from identical twin sisters Rosie Copeland and Gabrielle Moulding. The paintings are for sale now, both online and in our Summer Exhibition which opens 3rd May. We wanted to explore these works in more detail and delve further into Gabrielle (Ella) and Rosie’s experience of painting in Venice.


Last year Ella completed an artist residency The Scuola Internazionale di Grafica Venezia, located in the heart of Venice. While she was there her twin sister Rosie visited for 10 days, during which time they painted together ‘en plein air’, taking in the essence of the city and translating it into two sets of incredible contemporary landscape paintings. They had two very different experiences – one of growth and change, and one of more gentle familiarity. During Ella’s residency she attended workshops, learnt new techniques such as dry etching and monotype printing, and took inspiration from the other artists. For Rosie, however, this was her second visit to Venice and marked a period of relaxed ease and recognition of the sights and colours, which is apparent in the work she produced.


Rosie Copeland, Towards Salute, Evening Sky


This familiarity is apparent to all who recognise Venice as a city unmarked by time. Both artists noticed how little the city has changed over the last few hundred years, meaning that the vistas they paint are largely identical to those painted by the Renaissance masters and other famous artists over the centuries; “if you visit the Gallerie Dell’Accademia you will see paintings from the 17th century and the next day you could be painting in the exact same spot and the view will be almost exactly the same.” The painters that inspired Rosie such as JMW Turner, John Singer Sergeant, Claude Monet and Ken Howard, were greeted over the centuries by views practically indistinguishable from the present – no cranes, cars or skyscrapers in sight. For the sisters  this can be a little daunting, treading in the footsteps of such seminal names but any trepidation soon turns to excitement once they relax in front of the vista and begin.



JMW Turner, The Mouth of the Grand Canal, Venice, 1840               Ken Howard, Venice


They both attempt to capture the feeling of the place, rather than getting distracted by too much detail. Reflecting the unique light and colour of Venice in their abstract landscapes has been crucial to both sisters; the warm terracotta, mustard yellow, and salmon pink juxtaposed against the bright, cool turquoise of the canal waters. They both commented on the ‘golden hour’ in Venice, when the sun hangs low, bouncing off the water, and the churches, buildings, and moored gondolas are silhouetted against the sky lit with lilacs and mauves. These colours are tempered by the mist that rises off the water, known to the locals as the ‘caigo’ or fog. These factors combine to create a unique sense of place, which Rosie and Ella both felt strongly and expressed in their work. Ella’s watercolours, for example, reflect that hazy light, while her oil paintings of San Marco show the bright, saturated colours on a warm day. Ella said, “I hope to capture a sense of the place and my response to it. I hope the viewer finds something that also resonates with them in the painting, whether it’s the colour or the light or a feeling.”


Gabrielle Moulding, Piazzo San Marco, Venice


As identical twins in the same profession one would be forgiven for expecting a degree of competitiveness between the sisters, which though may be present, is overshadowed by how lucky they feel to have someone with whom to share ideas and ask advice. They know they will always get complete openness and honesty from each other! Having spent many years living in different countries from each other, this trip allowed them to enjoy painting together, sharing the experience. We are lucky to have the products of that shared experience within our gallery and for sale.


These  original contemporary paintings by UK artists are available to view on the website now, or in our Summer Exhibition, open 3 May – 15 June



Gabrielle Moulding, Venice Nocturn
Roșie Copeland, Santa Maria della Salute and Moorings
Gabrielle Moulding, Pink Sunrise from Accadamia Bridge