1922–1923Oil on cardboard45 × 53 cmEnn Kunila art collection

The degree to which Konrad Mägi finished his sketches varies greatly. There are a number of sketches that are so refined that they are worthy of exhibiting as standalone artworks. Others are like the one for this work, giving only a very rough inkling of the artist’s aims.

Although Konrad Mägi’s paintings are known above all for their colour, this sketch shows how Mägi first marked out the outlines of the composition and wrote in the names of the colours for later finishing.

When we compare the sketch to the painting, we see how much more detail Mägi filled in when painting. The sketch provides only the general outline and some idea of what he was aiming for but does not construct the artwork. The painting and its brushwork in particular reveal a fairly impulsive painting style. This begs the question of whether the work was completed not in Venice but later in Tartu, which would after all be a logical conclusion, since transporting paintings from Italy may have been quite complicated.