This book reveals the extraordinary artistic relationship between Italian artists Canaletto (1697–1768) and Bernardo Bellotto (1722–80).
Bellotto was Canaletto’s nephew and assistant, and an adept pupil—he picked up his uncle’s teachings so well that he sometimes signed his work as “Bellotto de Canaletto” and traded on the illustrious name, particularly after he settled in northern Europe in 1747.
Canaletto, famous for his precisely painted views of Venice, taught Bellotto how to use a camera obscura in his painting, and both share a meticulous style. But in the course of Bellotto’s travels (from Venice to Rome to Dresden, Vienna, Munich and finally Warsaw, where he remained until his death) the artist developed his own methods and interests. Favoring a cooler palette then his uncle, and interspersing his precise architectural vedute with modern landscapes and portraiture, Bellotto distinguished himself from his uncle.
The recent rediscovery of the inventory of goods from Bellotto’s house in Dresden—included in this volume—finally offers a key to understanding the artist’s culture and personality. One of the 18th century’s most restless artists, Bellotto seems ripe for rediscovery, and Bellotto and Canaletto: Wonder and Light offers a long-overdue exploration of the relationship between the artist and his famous mentor.