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Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

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

The Entrance to the Grand Canal, Venice by Canaletto

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. This Canaletto is a typical example of the ‘vedute paintings’ popular with Grand Tour travelers of the 1700s as a visual record of their travels. Canaletto was one of the most famous painters of city views or vedute, especially of 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. From 1746 to 1756, Canaletto also worked in England, where he created many pictures of the sights of London. He was highly successful in England. A British merchant and connoisseur Joseph Smith who sold his extensive 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.

Canaletto

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.

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

A Tour of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Reflections

  • Have you seen a Canaletto at your local art museum?
  • Do some of Canaletto’s paintings suffer from repetitiveness?
  • Which is your favorite Canaletto?

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“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

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

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