Canaletto in England: Canaletto's Rich Legacy of Work Made over a Decade Spent in England Is the Subject of a New Exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery. Denise Silvester-Carr Tells How the Venetian Artist, Long Popular with the British, Crossed the Channel to Revive His Fortunes

By Silvester-Carr, Denise | History Today, February 2007 | Go to article overview

Canaletto in England: Canaletto's Rich Legacy of Work Made over a Decade Spent in England Is the Subject of a New Exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery. Denise Silvester-Carr Tells How the Venetian Artist, Long Popular with the British, Crossed the Channel to Revive His Fortunes


Silvester-Carr, Denise, History Today


When Giovanni Antonio Canal, popularly known as Canaletto, arrived in London in May 1746 his fame as a topographical artist had preceded him. Wealthy English aristocrats on the Grand Tour had returned in the 1720s and 30s with capriccios and views to hang in their great houses. The fourth Duke of Bedford bought twenty-four Venetian paintings for his Covent Garden house (today they are in Woburn Abbey), and the Duke of Leeds and the earls of Fitzwilliam and Carlisle had also acquired paintings. But the outbreak of the War of the Austrian Succession in 1740 saw a decline in Canaletto's fortunes. Military operations prevented the young English milordi who had been his best clients from travelling to Italy.

It may well have been Joseph Smith, the British Consul in Venice and Canaletto's greatest patron, who suggested that the forty-eight year-old artist should try his luck in England, and he facilitated an introduction to the second Duke of Richmond who, twenty years earlier, had bought a number of Canaletto's oils through an agent.

London may not have basked in the brilliant light of Venice, but it had a river framed with Wren churches and an annual pageant that bore a resemblance to the great ducal regattas on the Grand Canal. Almost the first view that Canaletto painted in England was of the Thames looking towards the City from the terrace of Richmond House and he also painted the Lord Mayor's procession with the Livery Company barges in full regalia. Both views will be among some forty paintings and more than a dozen drawings in 'Canaletto in England', an exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery in London from January 24th to April 15th. The painting of the procession, one of several versions, features Westminster Bridge, then in the final stages of construction. He was to paint the bridge some twenty times. Two of his patrons, the dukes of Richmond and Bedford, were Commissioners of the Bridge and it may be that he sought to ingratiate himself with them, though, oddly, only Sir Hugh Smithson, another Commissioner, appears to have bought one. He acquired the well-known view of the City seen through an arch of the bridge, the wooden scaffolding still in place and a workman's bucket hanging from the parapet.

Although Canaletto painted some thirty-five views of London, little is known about his nine-year stay in England. His studio and lodgings were in Silver Street (now Beak Street, off Golden Square). Vertue wrote that he advertised for commissions and that a large view of Chelsea College [the Royal Hospital], Ranelagh Gardens, with a value of 60 [pounds sterling] or 70 [pounds sterling]--expensive for the time--could be viewed at the studio. He also noted that the Duke of Beaufort had employed him to paint views of Badminton, which he visited.

Canaletto also went to Warwick on three occasions to paint views of the castle and town for Lord Brooke, later Earl of Warwick, but it is doubtful that he ventured farther north. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Canaletto in England: Canaletto's Rich Legacy of Work Made over a Decade Spent in England Is the Subject of a New Exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery. Denise Silvester-Carr Tells How the Venetian Artist, Long Popular with the British, Crossed the Channel to Revive His Fortunes
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.