Giovanni Antonio Canaletto Biography | Oil Painting Reproductions

10-28-1697 Venice, ITA - 4-10-1768 Venice, ITA

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Canaletto, Giovanni Antonio

Giovanni Antonio Canal Canaletto ("little Canal") was the son of a theatrical scene painter in whose footsteps he at first followed. This work was to leave an indelible mark on the young artist, in fact, his fine, deep scenographic perspectives are one of his most outstanding features. In 1719 he went to Rome to study architecture and on his return to Venice, he began painting those great architectural masterpieces with which he has been associated ever since.

Canaletto's cityscapes, nearly all of which were exported (there are very few of his works in Venice), were soon in great demand on an art market that, after two and a half centuries, showed no sign of slowing. He illuminated European painting with the brilliant light of Venetian art.

The Image of Venice Becomes a Legend.

Canaletto's vedute were executed with the help of a camera obscura ( an instrument that projected the artist's view onto a kind of screen) and thanks to this device, but no thanks to his sure hand and brilliant use of light, Canaletto played a pivotal role in European art. In this painting Stonemason's Yard, the relationship between the stonecutters and the architecture marks Canaletto's new mastery of space and light.

The Vedute, the Sixteenth-Century Postcard.

Toward 1728, Giovanni Antonio Canal Canaletto began to paint views of Venice for foreign travelers and chose monumental scenes depicted in fine weather. He was a resounding success, so much so that Joseph Smith, the English consul in Venice, commissioned dozens of paintings (later bought en bloc by King George III) thus promoting his fame among British collectors.

Although most of his paintings illustrate the buildings and the canals of his native Venice, executed as souvenirs for the wealthy patrons from England making the Grand Tour, he lived in London from 1746 to 1753, alternating views of Venice (based on detailed sketches) with sweeping scenes of the capital and the English country houses. This is reflected in his paintings of The Thames and the City, and other views in the Home Counties. In choosing to depict clear days bathed in light, he celebrated the beauty of the English landscape by focusing on the relationship between natural parks and historic buildings as in The East Facade Of Warwick Castle. This becomes a key to a reading of all landscape painting in England, up to Constable and Bonington.

Giovanni Antonio Canal Canaletto returned to Venice in 1757 and was acclaimed as the unrivaled master of perspective and continued to draw and paint until his death. He became a member of the Academy in 1763. He established a style of architectural painting that was imitated by the next generation of Italian artists, notably Francesco Guardi and his nephew Bernardo Bellotto, who even signed his works 'Canaletto'.

The record price paid at auction for his artwork is $25.0 million for Venice The Grand Canal Looking North East From Palazzo Balbi To The Rialto Bridge, set at Sotheby's in London in July 2005.

Art Movement History: Rococo, Venitian School
Artists Influencing Antonio Canaletto: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Luca Carlevarijs
He Traveled To England
Painters Antonio Canaletto Influenced: Bernardo Bellotto, Francesco Guardi, Michele Marieschi, Gabriele Bella, Giuseppe Moretti, Giuseppe Bernardino Bison

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