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Artist: Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal) 1 of 1
The Piazzetta, Venice, Looking North

The Piazzetta, Venice, Looking North, c. 1740

Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal)
Italian, 1697-1768
Oil on canvas
29-7/8 x 47-1/8 in. (75.9 x 119.7 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
© The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

Canaletto began his career as a scene painter in the Baroque theater, designing sets for operas. When he took up landscape, specifically cityscape, he maintained the most appealing qualities of theatrical illusion. Combining a keen interest in linear perspective with a limited palette, Canaletto depicted Venice from every possible vantage point, including this elevated view of the Piazzetta, which leads to the immense Piazza San Marco. The almost photographic impression of the scene results from Canaletto’s arrangement of highly structured forms, such as the white marble pavement design before the Marciana Library, at left, and the artful repetition of architectural elements, with their emphasis on receding horizontal and diagonal lines that converge on a single point: the Torre dell’Orologio.

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Artist: Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal) 1 of 1