Italy Lost, Following the Foot Steps of the Old Masters

Looking Closely Vol. 3

It is widely accepted that the poet John Milton could not have laid out his Paradise had he not gazed upon the ridges, slopes, waterways, grottos, and greenery of the Italian countryside. Indeed, early-modern Italy supplied Milton with his conception of an Earthly Paradise. A century later, the Vedutisti captured the views upon which Milton gazed. These artists not only recorded the beauty of landscapes now so changed by wars and perceived progress, but also simple, quotidien Italian life, likewise threatened by extinction.


Watch National Gallery curator Francesca Whitlum-Cooper discuss Canaletto’s ‘The Stonemason’s Yard’, an enigmatic and unusual Venetian view by the artist here.


Read Guilano Briganti’s ‘The View Painters of Europe’ for Italian view paintings measured against the words of contemporary travellers here.


Visit The Getty Museum’s recent exhibition on view painting here.


Learn about view paintings in Robilant+Voena’s virtual exhibition gallery here.


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