Giovanni Antonio Canal (1697 – 1768) had perfect name for a master painter of Venice scenes but he adopted the diminutive Canaletto, which had been used to distinguish him from his scene-painter father.
His hundreds of beautifully precise and detailed pictures of the city-state of his birth, suffused with wonderful light, have attracted veiled criticism as proto-photographic (camera obscura) and lacking imagination.
Actually, his art exceeded that of photographs. Try comparing any of his works re-produced here at random with some Venice photographs produced by the singular professionals at The Varnished Culture…
“[T]he Venetian school…was still lively enough to provide the swan-song of Italian painting, which it did in a great apotheosis of light, colour and splendour.”*
He “exalted the beauty of its light, its palaces and canals.”*
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