ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Canaletto - Postcards from Italy

Updated on March 24, 2014

Rococo Landscape Painting

Canaletto was one of the greatest landscape and cityscape Italian painters from the Rococo period. His work demonstrates a deftness of touch and understanding of the construction and make up of the urban landscape. Busy, densely populated paintings, full of life and activity both in their composition and their vibrant colour.

Giovanni Antonio Canal born in Venice in 1697 at the end of the Renaissance and went on to be one of the most creative and accomplished landscape painters of his generation. Canaletto was the son of another Venetian painter Bernardo Canal, hence his moniker of Canaletto, little Canal. 

Piazza San Marco, Venice
Piazza San Marco, Venice

The Early Years in Venice

Along with his brother, Canaletto trained under his father and joined the family studio, creating scenes and sets for the Italian theatres. On a trip to Rome in 1719 he was greatly inspired by the works of Giovanni Paolo Pannini and emulated his style, capturing the daily events on the streets of Venice.

Canaletto advanced his distinctive style while under the tutelage of Luca Carlevarijs a reasonable cityscape painter at the time and exponant of the Vedute style of working. He soon became the equal of his master and when the Viennese art patron, Stefano Conti noticed his work, Canaletto’s career took off.

During his early years he was noted for his use of the Vedute (viewed painting) mode of working outdoors and producing paintings in situ. He did however revert to the more customary studio method later on in his career. Canaletto’s name first appears in the Venice Painters Guild register in 1720 and his initial exhibit was a scene of the church of St Giovanni and Paolo in Venice.


The Grand Canal, Venice
The Grand Canal, Venice
St Paul's Cathedral. London
St Paul's Cathedral. London

The European Grand Tour

Some of his earlier pieces are considered to be amongst his best works, studies of simple common scenes as opposed to the larger grand canvasses of his later years that display Venice in all its glory and pageantry. These earlier works include the Stone Masons Yard, which is considered to be a one of his masterpieces.

By the 1700's The Grand Tour was in full swing and Canaletto's work rapidly became popular with many of the English aristocrats travelling around Europe, buying up his work as reminders of their travels. The 1740’s war in Austria disrupted his sales as fewer Englishmen visited Venice, so Canaletto moved to London in 1746 for easier access to his patrons. Staying there until 1755 he produced some fine detailed paintings of the English countryside and its residencies at that time.

Leaving England, he returned to his native Venice where in 1763 he was finally elected into the Venice Academy of Fine Arts, academics at the time were not enamoured with his Vedute style of painting. He lived out the rest of his life continuing to produce artworks of his much loved city until his death in 1768 from a fever aged 71.

Palazza del Ducale, Venice
Palazza del Ducale, Venice

Canaletto's Legacy

Canaletto’s paintings are dominant pictures on a grand scale many are five feet across and despite their size they are gloriously coloured in rich hues and marvellously detailed. He spent many hours capturing the essence of his beloved Venice detailing such popular landmarks as the Grand Canal,  Piazza S. Marco, il Ponte Rialto, il Molo, and the lagoon. 

The popularity of his paintings with the touring aristocracy is understandable, these artworks are like the worlds biggest postcards. It is ever likely his work caught on at a time when people would want to show where they had been and seen. Canaletto's executions are wonderful examples of eigtheenth century Italy and especially Venice. 

Other Artists Hubs

Twentieth Century Welsh Painter - Gwen John
Sister of Augustus John, Rodin's lover and artist

Female Painter from the Baroque Period - Artsmisia Gentileschi
First female member of Florence's Accademia della Arti a Disegno,

History of Female Renaissance Painters

Baroque Painter - Caravaggio

Brilliant, inspired artist, leading light who died tragically young

Rococo Portait Painter - Rosalba Carriera Innovative miniaturist and pastellist

Australian French Impressionist - Rupert Bunny

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      Very interesting. I have long loved Canaletto since reading about him in the history of art books I used to devour as a youngster!

      Thanks for sharing. Liked the reference to the Grand Tour. Mind if I make a link to my Hub on the Grand Tour?

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • profile image

      MaryRenee 

      8 years ago

      Knell: Wow! what a talented painter, i'm jealous! Great hub Knell, thanks for sharing! :)

    • knell63 profile imageAUTHOR

      knell63 

      8 years ago from Umbria, Italy

      Cheers HH and Kaie, I saw an exhibition of his work, they are so large and detailed, just gorgeous to see up close. They are like great big holiday postcards, you can just imagine the Lords saying "Oh come and see my holiday paintings."

    • Kaie Arwen profile image

      Kaie Arwen 

      8 years ago

      I've never heard of this artist............. the work is breathtaking- Thanks, Kaie

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      A very interesting article about a painter I have never heard off. He was really great and it is more fascinating because it shows a surrounding which was open and now all built up. Thankyou for a wonderful hub. I really enjoyed reading, seeing the pictures and appreciated it.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)