Pair of 18th Century paintings of Venice, school of Canaletto

After Canal (Canaletto), Giovanni Antonio (Italian, 1697-1768)


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Canaletto, or Giovanni Antonio Canal, was an important 18th Century painter, who was famous for his precisely depicted and compelling views of Venice. Canaletto's paintings were avidly collected by young English gentlemen, who travelled to Venice as part of their 'Grand Tour' of Europe. Aware of his popularity with English patrons, Canaletto visited England several times between 1746-56 to paint views of London and grand country houses. These paintings were produced by the English school of Canaletto, around 10 years after the artist's death.

Both paintings depict a view of Venice, with its historic buildings lining the Grand Canal. One painting depicts the Rialto Bridge, viewed from the north, with the Grand Canal, full of gondolas, before it. The Rialto was built in the 12th Century at the heart of commerce on the Grand Canal. It was rebuilt in c.1590, with a single arch, spanning 28 metres across the canal. The Palazzo Civran and the German traders warehouse, the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, are pictured to the left of the bridge, and the Palazzo dei Camerlenghi, the seat of the financial magistrates of the Republic, and the Fabbriche Vecchie office buildings, are located on the right. As typical of Canaletto, the plans and proportions of these important 16th Century commerical buildings have been improved upon, and they have been organised in the composition so they can all be seen from one viewpoint, which is not true to reality. 

The second painting depicts the Grand Canal, seen from the Palazzo Foscari. The image shows a northern view from a high vantage point on the Palazzo, with the Palazzo Balbi in the left foreground, and Rialto Bridge in the distance. The dome of the church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo is just visible in the distance, to the right of the bridge. The annual regatta (gondola race) took place on this part of the canal, before the Palazzo Balbi. While this scene does not depict the regatta, the canal is nonetheless full of gondolas.

Both paintings are displayed in carved giltwood frames, which are mounted with plaques, reading ‘Canaletto/1697-1768’.

Frame: Height 75cm, width 135cm, depth 6cm
Canvas: Height 57cm, width 117cm


Artist / Maker
After Canal (Canaletto), Giovanni Antonio (Italian, 1697-1768)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
18th Century and Earlier
Academic, Figurative Art, Marine / Seascape, Old Master, Urban Views / Townscapes
Giltwood, Oil on Canvas
Gold, Multi-coloured


75 cm / 29.5 inches
135 cm / 53.1 inches
6 cm / 2.4 inches


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