1

0

 

2

1

 

1

0

 

 

 

A

R

T

 

&

 

T

R

A

V

E

L

 

 

 

1

0

 

2

1

 

1

0

 

 

 

A

R

T

 

&

 

T

R

A

V

E

L

 

 

1

0

 

2

1

 

1

0

 

 

 

1

0

 

2

1

 

1

0

 

 

A

R

T

 

&

 

T

R

A

V

E

L

 

 

 


Canaletto, Piazza San Marco, 1723-24.  Oil on canvas,
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

   
       

grand tour


 
 

Venice, sunlight, Canaletto

   

 

If you happen to find yourself in London in the next few months there are the paintings of Canaletto, that old Grand Tour favorite, on view at the National Gallery (along with the work of his rivals).  La Serenissima--no city more suited to vedute or view painting.  Canaletto was the master of vedutismo and came into his own at the time that the Grand Tour was the thing to do, and his paintings became the perfect take-home souvenir.  The Lagoon, the Grand Canal, the Piazza San Marco, the Rialto--all captured in his eternal golden light.

 


Canaletto, The Grand Canal and the Church of the Salute, 1730, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

 

Things began to look up for Giovanni Antonio Canal, known as Canaletto (1697–1768) when he started to bathe his views in a diffused glowing sunlight (moving away from his earlier somber, brooding pieces)—for what could be more beautiful than old stone in sunlight...terracottas, ochres, shades of yellow, and the white of drifting clouds in paintings that capture his great sweeping sense of atmospheric space.  Canaletto was originally a painter of set designs, and one can see in his work the use of scena dell’angolo—the angled scene—as well as the influence of Renaissance perspective, and the use of the camera obscura.

 


Canaletto, View of the Arch of Constantine with the Colosseum, 1742 – 1745, Oil on canvas, Getty Museum (painted during a spell in the 1740s when he painted scenes of Roman ruins)

 

In his last years Canaletto had a new rival – Francesco Guardi (1712–1793)–who was to become a successor of sorts (outliving him by 25 years) and adding his own distinctive touch to Venetian view painting. Guardi’s capriccis (imaginary paintings of architecture, especially classical ruins) are moody, capturing some of the misty quality of watery Venice.  The arch in ruins, the temple in the background (below) were recurring motifs in his work.  . 

 


 Francesco Guardi, Venetian capriccio:1775-80, Oil on panel,

 

The Grand Tour (Richard Lassels in The Voyage of Italy (1670) first gives the practice of gallivanting around Europe a name) was a must for aristocratic young British men.  The Finishing School of Travel if you will.  Several months of meandering at leisure: Greece and Italy in particular....and there are even two volumes by Boswell on the Grand Tour (yes, the biographer of Samuel Johnson).  Later, it became fashionable for women to undertake the journey, often chaperoned by an elderly relative, and A Room With a View is probably the most charming literary take on the Grand Tour....and an option if one is not going to be in London, or Italy, any time soon....

 

See: Venice, Canaletto & His Rivals, National Gallery, London

 

Experience: A Virtual Grand Tour (Italy), Getty online

 

Read: Canaletto & His Rivals, the accompanying catalog

 

Read: A Room With a View, E. M. Forster

 

See: A Room With a View, the film--a Merchant Ivory production

 

Tags:  art  literature  film  travel  museums  books    italy    color  england  venice
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canaletto, Ruins of the Forum, Looking towards the Capitol. 1742. Oil on canvas. Royal Collection, UK (also from his 1740s Roman period)

 

Share this article on facebook:   

Share:                    

 

Permalink  

 

 

 

     

ARCHIVES ART LITERATURE ARCHITECTURE FILM MUSIC DANCE
PHOTOGRAPHY DESIGN FOOD THEATRE FASHION TRAVEL

 

Subscribe About Us Editorial Policy Privacy Policy Contact Us Unsubscribe  

Press Archives Search  

 

 

©2010 eCognoscente