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The view of San Marco Quay  from the Bay
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18th Century
Giovanni Antonio CANALETTO
Born 1697, Died 1768
The view of San Marco Quay from the Bay
[Veduta del Molo di San Marco dal Bacino]
Oil on canvas
53.4 x 70.8 cm  [HxW]
Private Collection

Canaletto is without doubt the most famous of the many 18th-century townscape and landscape painters in Venice: his numerous, crystal-clear views of the city, studied with the absolute attention typical of the Enlightenment, were in great demand during the 18th century by the foremost European collectors — and the English in particular — with whom Canaletto was in contact through His Majesty’s Consul in the Serenissima. This was Joseph Smith, his prime sponsor and patron.

The view of the Molo — the quay — and of the Piazzetta, which are symbols of Venice, was in great demand by the patrons and was repeated countless times by Canaletto and other Venetian vedutisti . This version, which is distinguished by its clarity and precision in the rendering of each architectural detail, is bathed in light and was probably executed shortly after the series of 24 views made for the Duke of Bedford in around 1731, and still housed in Woburn Abbey.

Filippo Pedrocco

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