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Canaletto image

Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal; 1697–1768)
Architectural Capriccio
Pen and brown ink, with gray wash, over graphite and traces of black chalk
11 1/4 x 8 1/16 inches (286 x 204 mm)
Gift of János Scholz; 1973.48
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Canaletto, who primarily worked for an affluent English clientele visiting Venice while on the Grand Tour, brought topographical painting to perfection. He also produced such fanciful views, or "capricci," as this one, which combine reality with imaginary elements. It is a fairly accurate rendering of the eastern end of San Lorenzo and the adjacent houses in the Castello neighborhood, though most other elements are purely fictional for this location. Picturesque details of everyday life evoke a uniquely Venetian atmosphere.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.