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.
- Artist Name: Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal) (Italian, 1697-1768)
- Title: The Piazzetta, Venice, Looking North
- Date: c. 1740
- Medium: Oil on canvas
- Dimensions: 29-7/8 x 47-1/8 in. (75.9 x 119.7 cm)
- Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation
- Accession Number: F.1964.2.P
- Copyright: © The Norton Simon Foundation
Thomas (d. 1795), 3rd Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire, by inheritance to;
Henry Pelham Pelham-Clinton (d. 1851), 4th Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Clumber Park, Nottingham, by inheritance to;
Henry Pelham Pelham-Clinton (d. 1864), 5th Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Clumber Park, Nottingham, by inheritance to;
Henry Pelham Pelham-Clinton (d. 1879), 6th Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Clumber Park, Nottingham, by inheritance to;
Henry Pelham Archibald Douglas Pelham-Clinton (d. 1928), 7th Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Clumber Park, Nottingham, by inheritance to his nephew;
The Earl of Lincoln, Clumber Park, Worksop, Nottinghamshire (sale, London, Christie’s, 4 June 1937, lot 17, ill., as The Piazzetta of St. Marks, Venice, to);
[Frank Sabin, London];
Thomas Parrington, sold through;
[Arthur Tooth & Sons, London, sold July 1964 to];
The Norton Simon Foundation.
- London, British Institution, 1853-06 to
Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, cat. 229 p. 273
Norton Simon Museum, Selected Paintings at the Norton Simon Museum, p. 70
Seldis, Henry J., Art in America, pp. 96, 100
Understanding Paintings: Themes in Art Explored and Explained, pp. 16, 177
Pignatti, Terisio, Canaletto, no. 35
Bindman, David; and Lionello Puppi, The Complete Paintings of Canaletto, no. 86D p. 98
Corboz, André, Venezia immaginaria del Canaletto, p. ?
Brommer, Gerald F.; and Nancy Kinne, Exploring Painting, p. 188
Morse, John D., Old Master Paintings in North America, p. 44
Constable, W. G., Canaletto: Giovanni Antonio Canal, 1697-1768, pp. 210-211, 217-218
Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, p. 101
Catalogue of the pictures, being part of the Clumber Collection,
Fondazione Bracco, Il Vedutismo Venziano: Una Nuova Visione, Fig. 16 p. 92
McCorquodale, Charles, The Connoisseur, fig. C pp. 210-212
Illustrated London News, p. 1006
Renato Miracco, Italian Treasures in the U.S. An Itinerary of Art, p. #43
Willis, F. Roy, Western Civilization: An Urban Perspective, cover
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