Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal)

Italian, Rococo, 1697-1768

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The Grand Canal and
the Church of the Salute

Canaletto
345 USD


Return of the Bucintoro to
the Molo on Ascension Day

Canaletto
494 USD

The Grand Canal from Palazzo Flangini to Campo San Marcuola
Canaletto
445 USD

Capriccio: The Rialto Bridge and the Church of S. Giorgio Maggiore
Canaletto
405 USD
 
The Grand Canal near the Rialto Bridge, Venice
Canaletto
401 USD
 
Entrance to Grand Canal and Santa Maria della Salute from Molo
Canaletto
520 USD
 
The Grand Canal from
Campo di San Vio

Canaletto
498 USD
 
The Piazza San Marco
Canaletto
462 USD
 
The Bucintoro at the Molo on Ascension Day
Canaletto
498 USD
 
The Molo from the Basin of San Marco, Venice
Canaletto
464 USD
 
The Molo Venice
Canaletto
377 USD
 
The Square of Saint Mark's and the Piazzetta, Venice
Canaletto
388 USD
 
Westminster Bridge with the Lord Mayor's Procession on the Thames
Canaletto
524 USD
 
San Cristoforo, San Michele from the Fondamenta Nuove, Venice
Canaletto
484 USD
 
View of the Entrance to the Arsenal
Canaletto
334 USD
 
St. Mark’s Square
Canaletto
377 USD
 
Venice: The Bacino di S. Marco
on Ascension Day

Canaletto
445 USD
 
The Rialto Bridge, Venice
Canaletto
538 USD
 
Grand Canal from the Palazzo Balbi
Canaletto
383 USD
 
Venice: The Rialto Bridge
from the North

Canaletto
354 USD

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

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


After returning from Rome in 1719, he began painting in his topographical style. His first known signed and dated work is Architectural Capriccio (1723, Milan, in a private collection). Studying with the older Luca Carlevarijs, a moderately-talented painter of urban cityscapes, 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."

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.

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".

The Grand Canal in Venice from Palazzo Flangini to Campo San Marcuola, Canaletto, about 1738. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles 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 PrĂ  della Vale was found in the 2012 Nazi loot discovery.

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.

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

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.

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

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 alternations to topography for artistic effect.