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“The Entrance to the Grand Canal, Venice” by Canaletto

Canaletto - The Entrance to the Grand Canal, Venice - Google Art Project

“The Entrance to the Grand Canal, Venice” by Canaletto portrays the Rococo landscape of the entrance to the Grand Canal, Venice. The composition is a veduta, a word derived from the Italian for “view”, which means a highly detailed, large-scale painting of a cityscape or some other vista.

This Canaletto is a typical example of the vedute paintings popular with Grand Tour travellers of the 1700’s as a visual record of their travels. Canaletto was one of the more famous painters of city views or vedute, especially of Venice. During 1746 to 1756 he worked in England where he created many paintings of the sights of London. He was highly successful in England and became famous thanks to the British merchant and connoisseur Joseph Smith who sold his large collection of Canaletto’s paintings to King George III in 1762. Canaletto’s paintings became highly prized as during the 18th century European monarchs vied for his grandest paintings.

Many of Canaletto’s paintings can be found in museums across the world, depict highly detailed, usually large-scale paintings of Venetian other famous cityscapes or vistas. Famous examples include:

  • A Regatta on the Grand Canal seen from Ca Foscari, c. 1740 – National Gallery, London
  • The Entrance to the Grand Canal, Venice, c. 1730 – Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
  • Return of the Bucintoro to the Molo on Ascension Day, 1729–32 – Pushkin Museum
  • Piazza San Marco with the Basilica, Venice, 1730 -1734 – Fogg Museum, Harvard Art Museums


Essential Facts:

  • Title:                        The Entrance to the Grand Canal, Venice
  • Artist:                       Canaletto
  • Year:                         1730
  • Medium:                  Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions            Height: 49.6 mm (1.95 in). Width: 736 mm (28.98 in).
  • Museum:                 Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Artist Essential Facts:


“There is something so different in, Venice from any other place in, the world, that you leave at, once all accustomed habits and, everyday sights to enter an, enchanted garden.” Mary Shelley



Photo Credits: 1) Canaletto [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons