Canaletto

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For other uses, see Canaletto (disambiguation).
Canaletto
Giovanni Antonio Canal.jpg
Born Giovanni Antonio Canal
(1697-10-17)17 October 1697
Venice
Died 19 April 1768(1768-04-19) (aged 70)
Venice
Nationality Italian
Education Luca Carlevaris
Known for Landscape art, etching
Patron(s) Owen Swiny
Joseph Smith

Giovanni Antonio Canal (17 or 18 October 1697 – 19 April 1768),[1] better known as Canaletto (Italian: [kanaˈletto]), was an Italian painter of landscapes, or vedute, of Venice. He was also an important printmaker in etching.

Early career[edit]

Canaletto's Birthplace

He was born in Venice as the son of the painter Bernardo Canal, hence his mononym Canaletto ("little Canal"), and Artemisia Barbieri.[2] Bernardo Bellotto was his nephew and pupil. Canaletto served his apprenticeship with his father and his brother. He began in his father's occupation, that of a theatrical scene painter. Canaletto was inspired by the Roman vedutista Giovanni Paolo Pannini, and started painting the daily life of the city and its people.

Return of the Bucintoro to the Molo on Ascension Day, 1732.

After returning from Rome in 1719, he began painting in his topographical style.[3] His first known signed and dated work is Architectural Capriccio (1723, Milan, in a private collection).[1] Studying with the older Luca Carlevarijs, a moderately-talented painter of urban cityscapes,[3][4] he rapidly became his master's equal.

In 1725, the painter Alessandro Marchesini, who was also the buyer for the Lucchese art collector Stefano Conti had inquired about buying two more 'views of Venice', when the agent informed him to consider instead the work of "Antonio Canale... it is like Carlevaris, but you can see the sun shining in it."[5]

The Stonemason's Yard, painted 1726–30.

Outdoor painting[edit]

Much of Canaletto's early artwork was painted "from nature", differing from the then customary practice of completing paintings in the studio. Some of his later works do revert to this custom, as suggested by the tendency for distant figures to be painted as blobs of colour – an effect produced by using a camera obscura, which blurs farther-away objects.

However, his paintings are always notable for their accuracy: he recorded the seasonal submerging of Venice in water and ice.[6]

In this painting, the high viewpoint gives the illusion of looking out of a window, but there is no building in the position where the artist would have had to stand to use the "camera".

Early and late work[edit]

Canaletto's early works remain his most coveted and, according to many authorities, his best. One of his early pieces is The Stonemason's Yard (1729, London, the National Gallery) which depicts a humble working area of the city.

Later Canaletto painted grand scenes of the canals of Venice and the Doge's Palace. His large-scale landscapes portrayed the city's pageantry and waning traditions, making innovative use of atmospheric effects and strong local colors. For these qualities, his works may be said to have anticipated Impressionism.

His graphic print S.A Giustina in Prà della Vale was found in the 2012 Nazi loot discovery.[7]

Work in England[edit]

This 1752 painting of Northumberland House in London is an example of Canaletto's work during his residence in England.

Many of his pictures were sold to Englishmen on their Grand Tour, often through the agency of the merchant Joseph Smith (who was later appointed British Consul in Venice in 1744).

It was Smith who acted as an agent for Canaletto, first in requesting paintings of Venice from the painter in the early 1720s and helping him to sell his paintings to other Englishmen.[8]

In the 1740s Canaletto's market was disrupted when the War of the Austrian Succession led to a reduction in the number of British visitors to Venice.[9] Smith also arranged for the publication of a series of etchings of "capricci" (or architectural phantasies) (capriccio Italian for fancy) in his vedute ideale,[4] but the returns were not high enough, and in 1746 Canaletto moved to London, to be closer to his market.[3]

The first Westminster Bridge as painted by Canaletto in 1746.

He remained in England until 1755, producing views of London (including the new Westminster Bridge) and of his patrons' castles and houses. His 1754 painting of Old Walton Bridge includes an image of Canaletto himself.

Piazza San Marco, Venice, c. 1730–1735 now in the Fogg Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

He was often expected to paint England in the fashion with which he had painted his native city. Canaletto's painting began to suffer from repetitiveness, losing its fluidity, and becoming mechanical to the point that the English art critic George Vertue suggested that the man painting under the name 'Canaletto' was an impostor.[citation needed]

The artist was compelled to give public painting demonstrations in order to refute this claim; however, his reputation never fully recovered in his lifetime.[10]

After his return to Venice, Canaletto was elected to the Venetian Academy in 1763. He continued to paint until his death in 1768. In his later years he often worked from old sketches, but he sometimes produced surprising new compositions. He was willing to make subtle alternations to topography for artistic effect.[4]

Market[edit]

View of the Entrance to the Venetian Arsenal, by Canaletto, 1732.

His pupils included his nephew Bernardo Bellotto, Francesco Guardi, Michele Marieschi, Gabriele Bella, and Giuseppe Moretti. The painter, Giuseppe Bernardino Bison was a follower of his style.[6]

Joseph Smith sold much of his collection to George III, creating the bulk of the large collection of works by Canaletto owned by the Royal Collection. There are many examples of his work in other British collections, including several (19) at the Wallace Collection and a set of 24 in the dining room at Woburn Abbey. A large set of Canaletto works was also part of the collection of the Earls of Carlisle, however many were lost at the 1940 fire of Castle Howard and some were sold over the last century. Currently four Canaletto paintings are still hung on the walls of Castle Howard.[11]

Canaletto's views always fetched high prices, and as early as the 18th century Catherine the Great and other European monarchs vied for his grandest paintings. The record price paid at auction for a Canaletto is £18.6 million for View of the Grand Canal from Palazzo Balbi to the Rialto, set at Sotheby's in London in July 2005.

Works[edit]

The portico with a lantern, from the series 'Vedute', c. 1740–44, etching on paper
Title Date Location
The St Mark's Square in Venice looking West with the Campanile 1723 House of Liechtenstein, Liechtenstein
The Piazza San Marco, Venice 1738 - 40 Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Michigan, United States
Bacino di San Marco, Venice 1725–26 Farnborough Hall, Warwickshire
Venice: S. Geremia and the Entrance to the Cannaregio 1727 Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, England
Return of the Bucentoro to the Molo on Ascension Day 1732 Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, England
The Grand Canal in Venice from Palazzo Flangini to Campo San Marcuola c. 1738 The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Venice: The Campo SS. Giovanni e Paolo 1740 Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, England
Rome: View of the Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine 1743 Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, England
Venice: the Grand Canal with S. Maria della Salute towards the Riva degli Schiavoni 1730 Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, England
Rome: The Arch of Titus 1742 Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, England
Venice: the Grand Canal Looking North from the Rialto 1726–27 Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, England
Rome: The Arch of Septimius Severus 1742 Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, England
London: The Thames from Somerset House Terrace towards Westminster 1750–1 Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, England
Rome: Ruins of the Forum looking towards the Capitol 1742 Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, England
London: The Thames from Somerset House Terrace towards the City 1750–1 Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, England
Rome: The Pantheon 1742 Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, England
Rome: The Arch of Constantine 1742 Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, England
Venice: The Grand Canal from the Palazzo Vendramin-Calergi towards S. Geremia 1727–28 Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, England
Venice: the Bacino di San Marco from San Giorgio Maggiore 1735–1744 Wallace Collection, London, England
Venice: the Bacino di San Marco from the Canale della Giudecca 1735–1744 Wallace Collection, London, England
Venice: the Grand Canal from the Palazzo Flangini to San Marcuola 1740–1750 Wallace Collection, London, England
Venice: the Canale di Santa Chiara 1740–1750 Wallace Collection, London, England
Venice: the Riva degli Schiavoni 1740–1745 Wallace Collection, London, England
Venice: the Grand Canal from the Palazzo Foscari to the Carità 1740–1750 Wallace Collection, London, England
Venice: the Grand Canal from the Palazzo Dolfin-Manin to the Rialto Bridge 1740–1750 Wallace Collection, London, England
Venice: the Molo with Santa Maria della Salute 1740–1745 Wallace Collection, London, England
Venice: the Grand Canal from the Palazzo Foscari to the Carità 1734–1762 Wallace Collection, London, England
Venice: the Grand Canal with Santa Maria della Salute towards the Riva degli Schiavoni 1734–1762 Wallace Collection, London, England
London: Northumberland House 1753–1763 Wallace Collection, London, England
Venice: the Grand Canal from Campo San Vio towards the Bacino 1734–1760 Wallace Collection, London, England
View of Venice, Grand Canal from Palazzo Balbi toward the Rialto 1720–1723 Ca' Rezzonico, Venice, Italy
La Piazza San Marco in Venice 1723–1724 Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, Spain
The Grand Canal from San Vio, Venice 1723–1724 Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, Spain
View of Venice: Rio dei Mendicanti 1724–1726 Ca' Rezzonico, Venice, Italy
The Stonemason's Yard 1725 National Gallery, London, England
View of Church of San Giovanni dei Battuti on the Isle of Murano 1725–1728 Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
View of the Isles of San Michele, San Cristoforo and Murano from the Fondamenta Nuove 1725–1728 Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
View of the Grand Canal late 1720s Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, United States
The Entrance to the Grand Canal, Venice 1730 Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, United States
Piazza San Marco, Venice 1730–1735 Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, United States
The Molo Seen from the Bacino di San Marco 1730s Musée du Louvre, Paris, France
The Molo, Venice c. 1735 Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, United States
Venice: A Regatta on the Grand Canal 1735 National Gallery, London, England
View of the Riva degli Schiavoni 1736 Sir John Soane's Museum, London, England
St. Mark's and the Clock Tower, Venice 1737 National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada
A Regatta on the Grand Canal 1740 National Gallery, London, England
Venice: Santa Maria della Salute 1740 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, United States
View of the Grand Canal from Campo San Vio 1740–1750 Ca' Rezzonico, Venice, Italy
The Porta Portello, Padua 1741–1742 National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., United States
Entrance to the Grand Canal from the Molo, Venice 1742–1744 National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., United States
The Square of Saint Mark's, Venice 1742–1744 National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., United States
The Bucintoro 1745–1750 Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, Spain
Westminster Bridge, with the Lord Mayor's Procession on the Thames 1746–1747 Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, United States
London seen through an arch of Westminster Bridge 1746–1747 Syon House, London
The South Façade of Warwick Castle 1748 Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, Spain
Warwick Castle 1748–1749 Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, United States
A View of the Molo and the Riva degli Schiavone in Venice 1750 Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, United States
Bacino di S. Marco: From the Piazzetta 1750 National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
The Thames from the Terrace of Somerset House, Looking toward St. Paul's 1750 Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, United States
The Thames from the Terrace of Somerset House, Looking toward Westminster 1750 Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, United States
Eton College 1754 National Gallery, London, England
English Landscape Capriccio with a Column 1754 National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., United States
English Landscape Capriccio with a Palace 1754 National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., United States
Venice: The Basin of San Marco on Ascension Day 1740 National Gallery, London, England
S. Geremia and the Entrance to the Cannaregio 1730 National Gallery, London, England
London: Interior of the Rotunda at Ranelagh 1754 National Gallery, London, England
St. Paul's Cathedral 1754 Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, United States
Old Walton Bridge 1755 Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, United States
Venice: Palazzo Grimani 1756–1758 National Gallery, London, England
Porta Portello, Padua 1760 Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, Spain
The Campo di Rialto and S. Giacomo di Rialto, Venice 1760 National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada
Capriccio with Colonnade in the Interior of a Palace 1765 Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, Spain
The School of San Marco 1765 Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, Spain
Santi Giovanni e Paolo and the monument to Bartolommeo Calleoni 1735–1738
Interior of King Henry VII Chapel 1753 Museum of London, London, England
The Bacino di San Marco 1730 National Museum, Cardiff, Wales
The Bucintoro Returning to the Molo 1730–1735 Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, England
A Regatta on the Grand Canal 1730–1735 Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, England
Warwick Castle, the East Front from the Outer Court 1752 Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, England
The Tower at Marghera Galleria Degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy
View of the Piazzetta San Marco Looking South c. 1735 Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
The Molo from the Bason of San Marco, Venice 1747-1750 San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Filippo Pedrocco (1995). Canaletto. Giunti Editore. ISBN 978-88-09-76198-8. 
  2. ^ "Canaletto", National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
  3. ^ a b c Haldane MacFall (20 September 2004). A History of Painting: Later Italians and Genius of Spain Part Three. Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4179-4508-5. 
  4. ^ a b c Betsy Dru Tecco (30 July 2004). Pk:how to Draw Italy. PowerKids Press. ISBN 978-0-8239-6686-8. 
  5. ^ J.G. Links, Canaletto and his patrons, Granada Publishing/Paul Elek Ltd., London 1977. p. 1.
  6. ^ a b C. A. Fletcher; T. Spencer (14 July 2005). Flooding and Environmental Challenges for Venice and its Lagoon: State of Knowledge. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-84046-0. 
  7. ^ "Photo Gallery: Munich Nazi Art Stash Revealed". Spiegel. 17 November 2013. Retrieved 17 November 2013. 
  8. ^ Edward Morris (2001). Public Art Collections in North-West England: A History and Guide. ISBN 978-0-85323-527-9. 
  9. ^ Antonio Canaletto; Antonio Visentini (1971). Views of Venice: By Canaletto. Courier Dover Publications. ISBN 978-0-486-22705-4. 
  10. ^ John Eglin (13 January 2001). Venice Transfigured: The Myth of Venice in British Culture, 1660–1797. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-312-23299-3. 
  11. ^ Castle Howard, Revisited – The New York Sun
  12. ^ "The Molo from the Bason of San Marco, Venice". The San Diego Museum of Art. Retrieved 2014-09-20. 

External links[edit]