Canaletto (1697–1768) was the archetypical Venetian painter and printmaker. His superlative cityscapes record views of the ancient monuments and famous modern buildings of European cities that are now familiar and beloved throughout the world—none more so than the works depicting his native Venice. His lively, yet elegant paintings and prints were enthusiastically collected by foreign patrons, among them Joseph Smith, the British consul to Venice, who later sold his large collection to King George III. As a result, the Royal Collection now holds the largest and finest collection of Canaletto’s works in existence.
Canaletto and the Art of Venice is the first book to showcase in full this rich collection of eighteenth-century Venetian art held by the Royal Collection. It explores paintings, prints, and drawings by Canaletto, as well as many of his contemporaries, including Sebastiano and Marco Ricci, Antonio Visentini, Francesco Zuccarelli, and Giovanni Battista Piazzetta. Lavishly illustrated, the book presents these works against the background of the social and artistic networks of the period, looking at the links between art and theater in Venice, as well as the role of the city as a center for printmaking and book production.
Brilliantly alive with light, Canaletto’s paintings and prints recreate with remarkable clarity times past, and appreciation for his work continues to expand and grow. Canaletto and the Art of Venice provides welcome insight into both the artist and the broader veduta genre of urban landscape painting. Hardcover, 320 pages.