Antonio Canal, Called Canaletto, and Workshop, Venice 1697 - 1768 Venice
Giovanni Antonio Canal is famous for his views of Venice. The artist, who had been trained by his father as a painter of theatrical scenery, first began painting views around 1720. By the end of that decade he shifted decisively away from the atmospheric and theatrical vistas that he had been creating for local Venetian patrons to paint detailed appraisals of the familiar sights Venice for tourists and other foreign visitors to the city. Canaletto was most productive and commercially successful during the 1730s, and over the course of this decade he captured the buildings, pageantry, daily life, and light of Venice with unprecedented insight and radiance. Most of these works were made for aristocratic English patrons desiring mementos of time spent in Venice, often as part of their Grand Tour. In 1746, prompted by a decline of commissions in Venice, Canaletto moved to England, where he chiefly painted views of English scenery. He lived in Venice for the final decade of his life, during this period favouring capriccios and other fanciful compositions over his earlier topographical views.