Canaletto

Giovanni Antonio Canal (18 October 1697 – 19 April 1768),[1] commonly known as Canaletto (Italian: [kanaˈletto]), was an Italian painter of city views or vedute, of Venice, Rome, and London. He also painted imaginary views (referred to as capricci), although the demarcation in his works between the real and the imaginary is never quite clearcut.[2] He was further an important printmaker using the etching technique. In the period from 1746 to 1756 he worked in England where he painted many views of London and other sites including Warwick Castle and Alnwick Castle.[3] He was highly successful in England, thanks to the British merchant and connoisseur Joseph "Consul" Smith, whose large collection of Canaletto's works was sold to King George III in 1762.[2]

Canaletto
Born
Giovanni Antonio Canal

(1697-10-18)18 October 1697
Died19 April 1768(1768-04-19) (aged 70)
NationalityVenetian
EducationLuca Carlevaris
Known forLandscape art, etching
Patron(s)Owen Swiny
Joseph Smith

Early career

He was born in Venice as the son of the painter Bernardo Canal, hence his mononym Canaletto ("little Canal"), and Artemisia Barbieri.[4] 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.

After returning from Rome in 1719, he began painting in his topographical style.[5] His first known signed and dated work is Architectural Capriccio (1723, Milan, in a private collection).[1] Studying with the older Luca Carlevarijs, a well-regarded painter of urban cityscapes,[5][6] 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 urged him to consider instead the work of "Antonio Canale... it is like Carlevaris, but you can see the sun shining in it."[7]

Outdoor painting

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 possibly produced by using a camera obscura, which blurs farther-away objects – although research by art historians working for the Royal Collection in the United Kingdom has shown Canaletto almost never used a camera obscura.[8]

However, his paintings are always notable for their accuracy: he recorded the seasonal submerging of Venice in water and ice.[9]

Early and late work

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 (c.1725, the National Gallery, London) which depicts a humble working area of the city. It is regarded one of his finest works and was presented by Sir George Beaumont in 1823 and 1828.[10]

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 colours. 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 Munich Art Hoard.[11]

Work in England

Many of his pictures were sold to Englishmen on their Grand Tour, first through the agency of Owen Swiny and later the banker Joseph Smith, appointed British Consul in Venice in 1744. It was Swiny in the late 1720s who encouraged the artist to paint small topographical views of Venice with a commercial appeal for tourists and foreign visitors to the city. Sometime before 1728, Canaletto began his association with Joseph Smith, an English businessman and collector living in Venice, who later became the artist's principal agent and patron. Smith eventually acquired nearly fifty paintings, one hundred fifty drawings, and fifteen rare etchings from Canaletto, the largest and finest single group of the artist's works, that he sold to King George III in 1763.[12]

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.[13] Smith also arranged for the publication of a series of etchings of "capricci" (or architectural phantasies) (capriccio Italian for fancy) in his vedute ideale,[6] but the returns were not high enough, and in 1746 Canaletto moved to London, to be closer to his market.[5]

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

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. Historian Michael Levey described his work from this period as "inhibited".[14]

The artist was compelled to give public painting demonstrations in order to refute this claim; however, his reputation never fully recovered in his lifetime.[15]

After his return to Venice, Canaletto was elected to the Venetian Academy in 1763 and appointed prior of the Collegio dei Pittori. 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 alterations to topography for artistic effect.[6]

Market

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.[9]

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. in 1762, George III paid £20,000 for Consul Smith's collection of 50 paintings and 142 drawings.[16] 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 others were sold over the last century. Among those formerly at the Carlisle collection are The Bacino di San Marco: looking East, now at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (sold in 1939) and the pair Entrance to the Grand Canal from the Molo, Venice and The Square of Saint Mark's, Venice, now at the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC (sold in 1938). The last important venetian veduta at Castle Howard was by Bernardo Bellotto, A View of the Grand Canal Looking South from the Palazzo Foscari, which was sold at Sotheby's in July 2015 for £2.6 million.

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

PaintingTitleDateLocation
Piazzetta in Venice1700sAlte Pinakothek, Munich, Germany
Venice: the Grand Canal1700sLLL Art Galleries
Capriccio with Gothic church and lagoonc. 1720-21Galleria d'Italia - Palazzo Leoni Montanari, Vicenza
Grand Canal, Looking Northeast from Palazo Balbi toward the Rialto Bridge1720–1723Ca' Rezzonico, Venice, Italy
San Cristoforo, San Michele and Murano from the Fondamenta Nuove, Venice 1722–23Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas, United States
Piazza San Marco in Venice looking West with the Campanile 1723House of Liechtenstein, Liechtenstein
The Piazzetta towards San Giorgio Maggiorec.1724Royal Collection, Buckingham Palace, England
Venice: The Grand Canal, Looking North East from Palazzo Balbi to the Rialto Bridge c.1724Private collection
Piazza San Marco Looking East along the Central Line1723–24Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, Spain
Grand Canal, Looking East from the Campo San Vio1723–24Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, Spain
Rio dei Mendicanti1723–24Ca' Rezzonico, Venice, Italy
The Stonemason's Yardc.1725National Gallery, London, England
Rio dei Mendicanti: Looking South c.1725Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden, Germany
Entrance To The Grand Canal Looking East 1725Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden, Germany
Doge's Palace 1725
The Parvis of the churches Saint Jean and Saint Paul 1725Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresde
View of the Grand Canallate 1720sBirmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama, United States
Grand Canal: Looking from Palazzo Balbi c.1726Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden, Germany
Grand Canal: Looking North from Near the Rialto Bridge c.1726Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden, Germany
San Giacomo di Rialto c.1726Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden, Germany
The Bacino di San Marco, Venice1725–26Farnborough Hall, Warwickshire
The Grand Canal near San Maria della Carità 1726Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, Turin, Italy
Santi Giovanni e Paolo and the Scuola di San Marco 1726Private collection
The Bacino di San Marco, Venice, Seen from the Giudecca1726Upton House, National Trust, England
Venice: the Grand Canal Looking North from the Rialto1726–27Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, England
The Reception of the French Ambassador Jacques–Vincent Languet, Comte de Gergy at the Doge’s Palace, Venice 1726–27Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Venice: S. Geremia and the Entrance to the Cannaregio1726–27Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, England
Grand Canal. The Rialto Bridge from the South 1727Private collection
Venice: The Grand Canal from the Palazzo Vendramin-Calergi towards S. Geremia 1727–28Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, England
View of the Isles of San Michele, San Cristoforo and Murano from the Fondamenta Nuove1725–28Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia
View of Church of San Giovanni dei Battuti on the Isle of Murano 1725–1728Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia
A View of Dolo on the Brenta Canal 1725–1729Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, England
The Doge's Palace, Venice c.1730Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England
The Doge's Palace and Riva degli Schiavoni, Venice c.1730Tatton Park, National Trust, England
View of the Grand Canal: Santa Maria della Salute and the Dogana from Campo Santa Maria Zobenigo c.1730Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England
The Entrance to the Grand Canal, Venicec.1730Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, United States
The Grand Canal, Piazzetta and Dogana, Venicec.1730Tatton Park, National Trust, England
Stonemason's Yard 1726–1730 (or 1727)National Gallery, London, England
Venice: the Grand Canal with S. Maria della Salute towards the Riva degli Schiavoni 1730Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, England
The Bacino di San Marco, Looking North1730National Museum, Cardiff, Wales
S. Geremia and the Entrance to the Cannaregio1730National Gallery, London, England
The Piazzetta, Venice, Looking North1730sNorton Simon Museum, Pasadena, California
The Molo Seen from the Bacino di San Marco1730sMusée du Louvre, Paris, France
Return of the Bucintoro to the Molo on Ascension Day 1729–1732Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, England
The Molo, Venice c.1735Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, United States
View of the Piazzetta San Marco Looking Southc.1735Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
The Bucintoro Returning to the Molo1730–1735Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, England
Piazza San Marco, Venice1730–1735Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, United States
A Regatta on the Grand Canal1730–1735Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, England
A View of the Rialto, Venice1734–35Sir John Soane's Museum, London, England
The Piazza di San Marco, Venice 1734–35Sir John Soane's Museum, London, England
Venice: A Regatta on the Grand Canal1735National Gallery, London, England
View of the Riva degli Schiavoni 1736Sir John Soane's Museum, London, England
St. Mark's and the Clock Tower, Venice 1737National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada
The Grand Canal in Venice from Palazzo Flangini to Campo San Marcuolac.1738The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Santi Giovanni e Paolo and the monument to Bartolomeo Colleoni1735–1738
The St Mark's Square, Venice 1738–1740Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Michigan, United States
Bacino di San Marco 1738–1740Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, United States
Il Bucintoro al molo nel giorno dell'Ascensione c.1740Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, Turin, Italy
Venice: The Campo SS. Giovanni e Paolo 1740Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, England
Venice: The Basin of San Marco on Ascension Day1740National Gallery, London, England
Venice: Santa Maria della Salute1740Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, United States
A Regatta on the Grand Canal1740National Gallery, London, England
View of Piazza San Marco in Venice c.1740Musée Jacquemart André, Paris, France
The Rialto Bridge in Venice c.1740Musée Jacquemart André, Paris, France
The Porta Portello, Padua1741–42National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., United States
Rome: The Arch of Constantine1742Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, England
Rome: The Arch of Septimius Severus1742Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, England
Rome: The Arch of Titus1742Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, England
Rome: Ruins of the Forum looking towards the Capitol1742Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, England
Rome: The Pantheon1742Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, England
Rome: View of the Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine1743Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, England
Venice: the Bacino di San Marco from San Giorgio Maggiore1735–1744Wallace Collection, London, England
The Square of Saint Mark's, Venice 1742–1744National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., United States
Entrance to the Grand Canal from the Molo, Venice1742–1744National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., United States
Venice: the Molo with Santa Maria della Salute1740–1745Wallace Collection, London, England
Venice: the Riva degli Schiavoni 1740–1745Wallace Collection, London, England
View of the Grand Canal looking toward the Punta della Dogana from Campo Sant'Ivo c.1740-1745Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan, Italy
Prà della Valle in Padua 1741–1746Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Milan, Italy
London: The Thames on Lord Mayor's Day1746–47Lobkowicz Palace, Prague, Czech Republic
London seen through an arch of Westminster Bridge 1746–47Syon House, London
Ruins with Figures1747Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England
Ruins with Figures (companion of the above)1747Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England
London: River Thames looking towards Westminster from Lambeth 1747Lobkowicz Palace, Prague, Czech Republic
The South Façade of Warwick Castle1748Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, Spain
Warwick Castle1748–49Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, United States
The Thames at Westminster, London1749Penrhyn Castle, National Trust, Gwynedd, Wales
The Bucintoro1745–1750Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, Spain
The Molo from the Basin of San Marco, Venice1747–1750San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California[17]
A View of the Molo and the Riva degli Schiavone in Venice 1750Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, United States
Bacino di S. Marco: From the Piazzetta1750National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
The Bucintoro at the Molo on Ascension Day1760Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, England
View of the Grand Canal from Campo San Vio1740–1750Ca' Rezzonico, Venice, Italy
Venice: the Grand Canal from the Palazzo Foscari to the Carità1740–1750Wallace Collection, London, England
Venice: the Grand Canal from the Palazzo Dolfin-Manin to the Rialto Bridge 1740–1750Wallace Collection, London, England
Venice: the Grand Canal from the Palazzo Flangini to San Marcuola 1740–1750Wallace Collection, London, England
Venice: the Canale di Santa Chiara1740–1750Wallace Collection, London, England
The Thames from the Terrace of Somerset House, Looking toward St. Paul's 1750Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, United States
The Thames from the Terrace of Somerset House, Looking toward Westminster 1750Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, United States
The Rialto Bridge and The Church of S. Giorgio Maggiore c. 1750 North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
London: The Thames from Somerset House Terrace towards Westminster 1750–51Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, England
London: The Thames from Somerset House Terrace towards the City 1750–51Royal Collection, Windsor Castle, England
Chelsea from the Thames at Battersea Reach1751Blickling Hall, National Trust, Norfolk, England
Alnwick Castle1752Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, England
Greenwich Hospital from the North Bank of the Thamesc.1752National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, England
Warwick Castle, the East Front1752Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, England
Warwick Castle, the East Front from the Courtyard1752Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham, England
Interior of King Henry VII Chapel1753Museum of London, London, England
English Landscape Capriccio with a Column1754National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., United States
English Landscape Capriccio with a Palace1754National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., United States
London: Interior of the Rotunda at Ranelagh1754National Gallery, London, England
St. Paul's Cathedral1754Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, United States
A View of Walton Bridge1754Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, England
Eton College1754National Gallery, London, England
Old Walton Bridge1755Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, United States
Saint Mark's, Venice c.1756Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England
Interior Court of the Doge's Palace, Venice c.1756Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England
Venice: Palazzo Grimani1756–58National Gallery, London, England
Piazza San Marco Looking East from the North-West Corner c.1760National Gallery, London, England
Venice: the Grand Canal from Campo San Vio towards the Bacino1734–1760Wallace Collection, London, England
The Campo di Rialto and S. Giacomo di Rialto, Venice1760National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada
Porta Portello, Padua1760Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, Spain
Venice: the Grand Canal with Santa Maria della Salute towards the Riva degli Schiavoni1734–1762Wallace Collection, London, England
Venice: the Grand Canal from the Palazzo Foscari to the Carità1734–1762Wallace Collection, London, England
London: Northumberland House1753–1763Wallace Collection, London, England
Perspective with a Portico 1765Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice, Italy
Capriccio with Colonnade in the Interior of a Palace1765Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, Spain
The School of San Marco1765Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, Spain
The Square and the church San Francesco della Vigna ?Private collection, Milan

See also

References

  1. Filippo Pedrocco (1995). Canaletto. Giunti Editore. ISBN 978-88-09-76198-8.
  2. Alice Binion and Lin Barton. "Canaletto." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 6 Jan. 2017
  3. Constable, William G. "Canaletto". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  4. "Canaletto", National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
  5. 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.
  6. Betsy Dru Tecco (30 July 2004). Pk:how to Draw Italy. PowerKids Press. ISBN 978-0-8239-6686-8.
  7. J.G. Links, Canaletto and his patrons, Granada Publishing/Paul Elek Ltd., London 1977, p. 1.
  8. Hannah Furness, 'Royal Collection uses infrared to prove Canaletto did not trace his drawings' in The Daily Telegraph (UK newspaper), 14 April 2017.
  9. 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.
  10. "Canaletto | The Stonemason's Yard | NG127 | National Gallery, London". www.nationalgallery.org.uk. Retrieved 22 April 2016.
  11. "Photo Gallery: Munich Nazi Art Stash Revealed". Spiegel. 17 November 2013. Retrieved 17 November 2013.
  12. Canaletto Venetian, 1697 - 1768 https://www.nga.gov/collection/artist-info.1080.html
  13. Antonio Canaletto; Antonio Visentini (1971). Views of Venice: By Canaletto. Courier Dover Publications. ISBN 978-0-486-22705-4.
  14. Michael Levey (1994). Painting in Eighteenth-century Venice. Yale University Press. pp. 114–5. ISBN 978-0-300-06057-7.
  15. John Eglin (13 January 2001). Venice Transfigured: The Myth of Venice in British Culture, 1660–1797. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-312-23299-3.
  16. Louise Jury, the Independent, 11 November, 2005
  17. "The Molo from the Basin of San Marco, Venice". The San Diego Museum of Art. Archived from the original on 8 January 2016. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  18. "Canale, Antonio" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 5 (11th ed.). 1911. p. 172.
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