Donnerstag, 16.08.2018 12:41 Uhr

The great “Vedutista” artist: Canaletto in Rome

Verantwortlicher Autor: Carlo Marino Rome, 19.04.2018, 14:23 Uhr
Presse-Ressort von: Dr. Carlo Marino Bericht 5557x gelesen

Rome [ENA] In order to mark the 250th anniversary of the death of the great Venetian painter Giovanni Antonio Canal (1697-1768), better known as Canaletto, on April 11th in Rome, Palazzo Braschi opened a valuable exhibition illustrating the art of this great landscape “Vedutista” artist. Canaletto painted impressive scenes of the canals of Venice and the Doge's Palace and his views of the lagoon city contributed

to visually define it in the world's imagination. His large-scale landscapes portrayed the city's pageantry and disappearing traditions, making innovative use of atmospheric effects and strong local colours. For these qualities, his works may be said to have anticipated Impressionism. Rome exhibition runs through August 19. The exhibit - "Canaletto 1697-1768" - will showcase the largest number of masterworks by the artist ever displayed in Italy. The show required two years of preparation and cost almost one million euros.

They include nine drawings, 16 books and archive documents and 42 paintings from Italian museums as well as private British collections and museums abroad including the Pushkin in Moscow, the National Gallery in London, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna and the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest. Organized in nine sections, it has the objective of giving an insight into Canaletto's entire career - from his work as a set designer through his revolution of landscape painting. It embraces his work in Venice and Rome, the city that fascinated him with its millennial history.

The exhibit presents the first landscapes portraying the Rialto Bridge viewed from the north and the Canal Grande and Santa Maria della Carità with a natural lighting lending fresh crispness to the spectacular views. Much of Canaletto's early artwork was painted "from nature", differing from the then usual practice of completing paintings in the studio. Some of his later works do revert to this custom, as suggested by the tendency for distant figures to be painted as drops of colour, an effect possibly produced by using a camera obscura, which distorts farther-away objects, although research by art historians working for the Royal Collection in the United Kingdom has shown Canaletto almost never used a camera obscura.

However, Canaletto’s paintings are extraordinary for their accuracy: he recorded the seasonal submerging of Venice in water and ice. Clients offered Canaletto significant commissions after his success in Italy and abroad. The Return of the Bucintoro to the Molo on Ascension Day, 1729, (Bucintoro di ritorno al Molo il giorno dell'Ascensione) is from this period. Canaletto's genius reflects the age of Enlightment as well as the music, theater, social and technological progress of his time. The artist acquired a clientele of Britons undertaking Grand Tours, also thanks to the promotion of patron Joseph Smith.

After Padua, the artist moved to London, where he painted, among others, the "Representation of Chelsea College, Ranelagh House, and the River Thames". The 1751 painting was cut in half and will now be exceptionally showcased in its wholeness for the show. The left part belongs to the National Trust's Blicking Estate, in Britain, while the other half is part of Cuba's Museo Nacional de bellas artes de la Habana. The exhibit ends with the last years the artist spent in Venice and records Canaletto's ability to represent views of his spectacular city. A reality that is only apparently topographical but whose details are instead inserted with great discretion according to his peculiar idea.

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