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Old Master Venice Grand Canal 18th Century Painting

Chiesa della Salute landscape

Venice Oil on canvas with frame 18th century

Period 18th centuryHeight 27.55 with frame inWidth 34.25 inDepth 1.57 in Categories , Tags , ,


Venice Oil on canvas with frame 18th century

Venice Oil on canvas with frame 18th century

Oil painting on canvas, mid-18th century follower of Antonio Canal, known as Canaletto (Venice 1697–1768)

Original gilded wooden frame from the same period.

Canvas repaired and in excellent overall condition.

This beautiful mid-18th century painting depicts the Grand Canal of Venice as seen coming from the Rialto Bridge.

Clearly visible on the right is the majestic church of Santa Maria della Salute, a peerless treasure trove of absolute masterpieces by great artists, such as Titian Vecellio and Domenico Tintoretto with his famous painting The Marriage at Cana.

The Grand Canal of Venice is a timeless icon, a majestic example of absolute beauty.

Artists throughout the ages have been wooed by its fascination. Including the likes of the composer Wagner, the poets Lord Byron and Ugo Foscolo, and greats like the artist Antonio Canova and Canaletto himself.

The Chiesa della Salute [Church of Health] has a poignant history, built as a thanksgiving to the Virgin Mary for the end of a terrible epidemic that struck the Serenissima in 1630, though it was not consecrated until 1687.

In 1706, the church was already painted by a great artist, the famous Dutch painter Gaspar van Wittel (Amersfoort 1652/53–Rome 1736) whose son, Luigi Vanvitelli, (Naples 1700-Caserta 1773) was the architect of the marvelous Royal Palace of Caserta.

Later landscape painters of the Chiesa della Salute were likely influenced by his eclectic style. In his work, the early dictates of the Baroque blend perfectly with the neoclassical purity of Andrea Palladio (Padua 1508–Maser 1580).

Many painters depicted the Chiesa della Salute, including Michele Marieschi (Venice 1710-1744), the Bellotto brothers, Pietro (Volciano 1625-Gargnano 1700), and Bernardo (Venice 1722-Warsaw 1780).

Bernardo, as the nephew of the great Antonio Canal, "Canaletto," took full advantage of his prestigious lineage, so much so that he was always called Canaletto at the Saxon court. He even used this name to sign some of his paintings, and to this day in Germany the two artists are sometimes confused.

One thing they definitely had in common, beyond their talent, was the use of the camera obscura.

This "trick" allowed them to create a great many views; think, for instance, that there are more than twenty views by Canaletto in Woburn Abbey, home of the Duke of Bedford.

There is no question that (the original) Canaletto's views of the Chiesa della Salute succeeded the best.

The most common perspective is from St. Mark's Square. The view from the opposite direction, the Rialto Bridge towards the Punta della Dogana (the perspective in this painting) is much rarer.

One of these is a splendid one by Canaletto's student, William James, a painter from London active in the mid-18th century.

There are many similarities, making it probable that our artist was in the circle of students of the great master Canaletto.

Technical Details

Materials Canvas, woodColor Polychrome, goldTecnica Oil on canvasPeriod 18th centuryCreatore Follower of Antonio Canal, known as CanalettoOrigin Private collectionConditions Canvas repaired and in excellent overall condition
Height 27.55 with frame inWidth 34.25 inDepth 1.57 in

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