Canaletto – A Venetian Master

Master Baroque landscape painter, Giovanni Antonio Canal, aka “Canaletto,” was born on this day the 28th of October, 1697, in Venice. His use of colour is remarkable and sometimes even photo realistic. Look at the incredible amount of detail in the boats, in lighting, the distance – everything done to a very high quality. I remember pathetically trying to copy one of Canaletto’s paintings during my summer art course when I was about nineteen and, whilst the professor seemed pleased that I was doing a traditional work, I found out how incredibly difficult it is to make these paintings.

The picture above has such a lovely warm hue and the gorgeous Venetian architecture and the people milling in the courtyard seem to come alive. This is how I remember Venice, in the warm glow of sunshine, with the sound of pigeons cooing and flying about. Divine.

Beautiful, isn’t it? In my opinion, this is real art, (unlike post-modernist rubbish!) and is like a snapshot of what life was like a that point in time. Utterly fascinating. You can almost smell the water and hear it lapping against the boats and buildings.

Canaletto died in 1768 in his hometown of Venice. His beautiful paintings are on display throughout the world. Here in England, I’ve been fortunate to see many in person at Woburn Abbey (between Northampton and London) and also at the National Gallery in London.

For a wonderful virtual gallery of Canaletto’s paintings, please go to:

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