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Artist: Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal) 1 of 1
The Piazzetta, Venice, Looking North, c. 1740

Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal)
Italian, 1697-1768
Oil on canvas
29-7/8 x 47-1/8 in. (75.9 x 119.7 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
© The Norton Simon Foundation

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A native of Venice, Canaletto began his career as a scene painter in the Baroque theater, designing sets for operas. When he left the theater to take up landscape painting, he probably did more to popularize the image of Venice than any other eighteenth-century artist. Responding to the demand of the numerous visitors to Venice, he created an extraordinary number of view paintings, depicting the city from every possible vantage point. No painter of the time was more popular with the British nobility, and there was a steady flow of Canalettos to England. Canaletto had the unique ability to describe a scene faithfully and accurately and at the same time give it an evocative, personal, poetic quality. His linear precision is complemented by the effect of the bright sunlight, which accents architectural detail and filters into the cool, gray shadows.

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Artist: Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal) 1 of 1