Happy birthday Canaletto!


Canaletto (October 17 or 18, 1697—April 19, 1768) was an Italian landscape painter.

Canaletto was born Giovanni Antonio Canal in Venice, Italy to Bernardo Canal and Artemisia Barbieri. His father was a theatrical scene painter, and he was his apprentice. He became a scene painter himself, until he took a trip to Rome and became inspired by the people.

He studied with Luca Carlevarijs, a painter of urban landscapes. He also became influenced by Paolo Giovanni Pannini.

His first signed work is dated to 1723, called Architectural Capriccio.



He painted Venice's canals and scenes surrounding monumental buildings including The Grand Canal


and Palazzo Ducale di Venezia.

After a while, his work became repetitive and Italian patrons lost interest. So Canaletto moved to England, where he could still find work. He lived there from 1746-1755. He painted the Westminster Bridge


and the Northumberland House, among other static landscapes.



Canaletto sold most of his work in England through a merchant named Joseph Smith, who acted as his agent.

His work from this later period is often criticized for being redundant and mechanical, to the point that people of the time began to believe Canaletto was an imposter. He gave public painting demonstrations in order to counter these claims.

Eventually, he returned to his native Venice, where he was elected to the Venetian Academy in 1763. He painted there until his death.


The Grand Canal and the Church of the Salute


Return of the Bucentoro to the Molo on Ascension Day, 1732. Royal Collection


Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Saturday, 18 October 2014
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