Canaletto (1697–1768) is Venice's most famous view painter. His drawings and paintings record cityscapes that are familiar and loved throughout the world, none more so than his works recording his native Venice. His lively yet elegant paintings, drawings and etchings were enthusiastically collected by foreign patrons, among them Joseph Smith, the British consul to Venice, who later sold his collection to King George III. As a result, the Royal Collection now includes the largest and finest collection of Canaletto's works in existence.
Canaletto and the Art of Venice is the first publication to showcase in full the rich collection of eighteenth-century Venetian art held by the Royal Collection. It explores and discusses paintings, drawings and prints by Canaletto, as well as works by many of his contemporaries, including Sebastiano and Marco Ricci, Antonio Visentini, Francesco Zuccarelli and Giovanni Battista Piazzetta. Lavishly illustrated, the book presents these works in the context of Smith as a collector, and looks at the links between art and theatre in Venice, as well as the role of the city as a centre for printmaking and book production.
Brilliantly alive with light, Canaletto's paintings and prints re-create 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 genre of eighteenth-century urban landscape.Written by Rosie Razzall and Lucy Whitaker