The Entrance to the Grand Canal, Venice by Canaletto
“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 1700s as a visual record of their travels. Canaletto was one of the more famous painters of city views or vedute, especially of Venice. From 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 pictures.
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.
Giovanni Antonio Canal (1697 – 1768) better known as Canaletto, who was born in Venice, is famous for his paintings of the city views of Venice, Rome, and London. He was also a printmaker using the etching technique. From 1746 to 1756 he worked in England where he painted the many sights of London. He was highly successful in England, thanks to a British merchant, whose extensive collection of Canaletto’s works was sold to King George III in 1762, which significantly increased Canaletto’s prestige.
The Entrance to the Grand Canal, Venice
- 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
Giovanni Antonio Canal – Canaletto
- Name: Giovanni Antonio Canal (Canaletto)
- Born: 1697 – Venice, Republic of Venice
- Died: 1768 (aged 70) – Venice, the Republic of Venice (now Italy)
- Nationality: Venetian
- Notable works:
- Have you seen a Canaletto at your local art museum?
- Do some of Canaletto’s painting suffer from repetitiveness?
- Which is your favourite Canaletto?
Explore the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
- “Portrait of an Old Woman” by Hans Memling
- “The Entrance to the Grand Canal, Venice” by Canaletto
- “The Elder Sister” by William-Adolphe Bouguereau
- “The Orange Trees” by Gustave Caillebotte
- Masterpieces of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
- Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
“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