Canaletto in England: A Venetian Artist Abroad, 1746-1755
The fame of Giovanni Antonio Canal, known as Canaletto, rests mainly on his vivid paintings of Venice, his native city. Only rarely was he tempted to travel, but the popularity of his works with British tourists and patrons led him to England in 1746, and his visit became a productive, nine-year stay. This beautiful book focuses on the fruits of Canaletto’s English sojourn, reproducing the views of London he painted while there, as well as the Italian and imaginary views he painted in response to the vigorous demands of his patrons. The book offers a full study of Canaletto’s English period along with detailed catalogue entries for about fifty paintings and twenty drawings. The works depict such landmarks as St. Paul’s Cathedral, Somerset House, and Westminster Bridge, as well as views of Venice and Rome, and caprices in which the artist playfully organizes Renaissance palaces and classical ruins in fanciful juxtapositions.