This volume presents a substantial overview of the life and works of the great Venetian painter. More than 70 works by Canaletto, including paintings and drawings from both public and private collections, are brought together to demonstrate the breadth of the artist's creative capacity. Also included is a rare collection of documents concerning Canaletto's artistic adventures, as well as a series of prints that served as inspiration while crafting his iconic city views. Together, these materials illuminate both the public genius and private personality and life of the Venetian master.
Giovanni Antonio Canal (1697–1768), known as Canaletto, began his career as a scene painter for the theaters of Venice. The artist is best known for his ability to capture encompassing views of the Venetian cityscape in paint, works that were frequently sold to European aristocrats on the Grand Tour. These early paintings often subtly blur the boundary between the real and imaginary, as the artist masterfully repositioned buildings and warped viewpoints to achieve the most holistic presentation of his subject. Although Canaletto is regarded as one of the greatest artists of the 18th century today, his life was mired in controversy as he struggled with his public perception, fighting to be accepted by the Venetian Academy of Fine Arts before dying in poverty.