The View of the Grand Canal is among the most significant achievements of Bernardo Bellotto’s early artistic career and his most ambitious painting to date.1 With prodigious skill and considerable diligence, the twenty- to twenty-one-year-old realized the airy atmosphere, grainy, weather-stained architecture, and dramatic plays of light and dark. Like its former pendant depicting Piazza San Marco now in the Cleveland Museum of Art(fig. 1) , the work’s grand scale and apparent ease of execution proclaimed Bellotto’s considerable youthful talent.2
Bellotto achieved an unnaturally wide space by manipulating the perspective and sightlines. His aspect, roughly equivalent to the traghetto (ferry crossing) of Campo Santa Maria del Zobenigo (also known as Santa Maria del Giglio), embraces two slightly different viewpoints. One looks east to the Grand Canal entrance and Dogana (or Customs House) with the busy Bacino di San Marco and Riva degli Schiavoni in the distance, in front of which is a large man-o’-war ship; the other looks south to the Seminario Patriarcale and the churches of San Gregorio and Santa Maria della Salute, bathed in intense illumination. Next to the copper globe crowning the Dogana with the statue of Fortuna di Mare (Bernardo Falconi, 1678), the painter included the bell tower and dome of Andrea Palladio’s distant San Giorgio Maggiore, even though this roof would have been almost invisible from such a viewpoint. These various buildings would have provided introductory sights to tourists arriving at the city. Here, however, we see the landmarks in reverse, from the vantage of someone either departing or anticipating visitors.3
As in other versions of the same prospect, light falls from the right and shadows indicate an afternoon sun. Bellotto’s careful orchestration of shade gives a sense of the Salute’s substantial volume, notably its various projecting components. The scrolls, for example, are painstakingly highlighted, while the adjacent campanile casts a strong silhouette on the smaller dome, bending along with the architectural curvature. Fitting for this important monument of Venetian history, Bellotto marginally elongated the Salute, raising the steps and stretching the top half of the building.4 He also used thick deposits of paint to form the church’s statues.5 In his rendering of Palazzo Pisani-Gritti (left), Bellotto especially paraded his virtuosity, taking obvious delight in rendering the flecked panes of bullseye glass and half-faded decorative frieze. (The building’s indecipherable grey cartouches were never meant to be legible, although the top line begins with ’D’.) As a witty embellishment, a figure leans wearily against the palazzo doorframe in resignation from the day. This adds a somber mood inapparent in Canaletto’s sunnier rendition of the same subject, now in the Fitzwilliam Museum (and listed below), a difference somewhat characteristic of the two artists’ distinctive approaches to identical themes.
Bernardo Bellotto was born on 20 May 1722 to Fiorenza Domenica Canal, the eldest of Canaletto’s three sisters.6 While still in his early teens, he began an artistic training with Canaletto, his uncle, beginning to draw and paint Venetian vedute in close emulation of his uncle’s style.7 His earliest extant work may be a drawing dated c.1736 on the verso of two letters from Venice by Bernardo and his brother, Michiel, to their father.8 At sixteen years old, in 1738, Bellotto was recorded in the Fraglia dei Pittori, the Venetian painters’ guild.9 Some of his earliest known paintings date to around the same moment: The Entrance to the Grand Canal, looking West, with Santa Maria della Salute (with Cocoon Art, Milan, in 2010) and its former pendant, The Rialto Bridge from the North (sale, Sotheby’s, New York, January 24, 2008, lot. 114).10 These are the only Venetian views firmly attributed to the artist in a contemporary document initially composed in 1739.11 Bellotto based these views on two of Canaletto’s most celebrated prospects of the Grand Canal from the 1720s, well-known through Antonio Visentini’s engravings after the original paintings.12 Bellotto’s The Grand Canal from the Palazzo Foscari towards Santa Maria della Carità (Nationalmuseum, Stockholm), dated to 1740, demonstrates how the young apprentice was already redeveloping his uncle’s models at a very early stage. Characteristically, Bellotto’s version is considerably larger than Canaletto’s prototype.
In c.1739, at an equivalent moment, Bellotto produced at least fifteen canvases for Henry Howard, 4th Earl of Carlisle, part of a large series of Venetian views intended for the North Yorkshire residence, Castle Howard.13 This was a significant commission; however, it is likely that Bellotto was not yet recognized as a distinct entity separate to Canaletto and his studio, which may explain the dearth of documentary evidence during this period. The young artist even signed himself “detto Canal.”14 Another important transaction features in the accounts of Johann Matthias von der Schulenberg, an important collector living in Venice, for whom four views were purchased in November 1740 as executed by “the nephew of Canaletto” (most probably Bernardo Bellotto and not his brother, the fifteen-year-old Pietro), “two of S. Marco and two of the Arsenal.”15 Revealing of Bellotto’s status at that moment, the price paid was 9 zecchini (not a large sum).
In spring of 1742 Bellotto travelled to Rome via Florence and Lucca “on the advice of his uncle,” producing a variety of drawings and paintings after well-known sights and ruins.16 In the wake of this return, Bellotto entered a particularly productive period, growing in artistic independence. This was a pivotal moment for the young artist and important also for the dating of the Getty painting. He exhibited a number of views in Venice in 1743, and in 1744 he travelled to Lombardy, then Turin and Verona.17 Canaletto left for England in 1746, and Bellotto departed Italy for Dresden after April 5, 1747. He stayed eleven years, painting for the Elector, King Frederick Augustus II of Poland, and finding success among other important patrons, before moving to Vienna, Munich, Dresden (again), and finally Warsaw, where he died on November 17, 1780.
In a contemporary biography of the painter published in 1753, Pellegrino Antonio Orlandi famously wrote, “great understanding is required to distinguish [the paintings of Bellotto] from those of his uncle.”18 His statement enabled the traditional art historical assumption, persisting well into the twentieth century, that patrons of the early 1740s were frequently unable to identify the younger artist’s personal productions. It is important to note, however, that Orlandi sought to praise, and not to undermine. Although our connoisseurly “understanding” of Bellotto’s Venetian period has faded, the original collectors more often probably possessed the requisite capacities for discernment.19 Consequently, the historical confusion between Bellotto and his uncle, in both nomenclature and painterly style, warrants closer attention in view of the history of the Getty painting.
Attribution and dating
Like many works now assigned to the young Bellotto, the painting traditionally carried an attribution to Canaletto. The Earls of Craven owned View of the Grand Canal and its pendant of Piazza San Marco from at least the early nineteenth century, and the work was seldomly exhibited in public, remaining relatively unexamined. By the middle of the 1990s, after the painting’s acquisition by the Getty Museum, a new sensitivity to Bellotto’s personal style encouraged a reconsideration of its attribution. Scholars detected, among other elements, Bellotto’s cool luminosity, attention to realistic features like masonry erosion, and signature diagonal striations in skies.20 Indeed, Bozena Anna Kowalczyk believes that the Getty painting is wholly from Bellotto’s own hand, with no sign of any assistance.21
In addition to stylistic considerations, we might date the Getty painting to c.1743 based on a particular architectural detail apparently just visible in its pendant piece at Cleveland which depicts the Piazza San Marco. Bellotto must have executed this accompanying work shortly after Antonio Gai’s bronze gates were added to the loggetta of the campanile in 1742.22 Interestingly, technical study has revealed an earlier, abandoned attempt to produce the Getty painting, whose architectural outlines are clearly conspicuous in an x-radiograph of the Cleveland work.23 In this aborted version, Bellotto may have mistakenly enlarged the Palazzo Pisani-Gritti; he also seems to have situated the Salute nearer to the right edge of the canvas, whereas all other principal versions place the Salute closer to the center of the composition.24 Possibly Bellotto struggled with the canvas’ substantial size (intended to fill a large space presumably at the stipulation of a specific commission), resolving to return to the subject after concentrating on the companion piece c.1742-43. However, the evidence of such a mistake may signal that this failed execution, and by extension the corrected work as well, represents an early stage in Bellotto’s painting of this particular Salute view. In light of the number of versions he painted himself (at least four or five), it seems less likely that the Getty painting, apparently the revision of an initial error, would represent a later, experienced version of the prospect, even if the scale had presented challenges. Why, otherwise, would he have initially so misplaced the church? For this reason, the Getty work could indeed be a – if not the – principal type.
Bellotto likely also executed the Getty painting at a similar time to another work: his accomplished, densely atmospheric drawing of the same view (fig. 2), customarily dated soon after the beginning of the 1740s.25 In vessels, staffage, lighting and architectural detail, the drawing and painting are so similar that they appear to be directly related – the one likely derives from the other, but in a sequence presently unconfirmed.
The drawing forms part of a bequest of works on paper from Bellotto’s Venetian period from the artist’s direct descendants to the Hessisches Landesmuseum in Darmstadt.26 Combined with the visual closeness between the works, this ancestral provenance would further support the Getty painting’s re-attribution to Bellotto. In style, the drawing seems related to Bellotto’s other more individualized, more distinctive renditions of Canaletto’s synthetic vedute (constructed from a fictive standpoint, allowing the spectator to see more than humanly possible) in the same bequest. These drawings already show remarkable independence in handling – especially in their atmospheric effects – and generally seem related to Canaletto’s prior sketches only by analogy.27 Interestingly, however, no precedent sketch by Canaletto survives for this particular view, which is evidently also one of the most accomplished works in the bequest.28
Scholarly opinion on the Getty painting and related versions has shifted dramatically in the last few decades, and it will be interesting to briefly recount the history of these attributional fluctuations. The first edition of W. G. Constable’s catalogue raisonné on Canaletto of 1962 listed the work as the prime version by Canaletto, dating it to the early 1730s and recording a string of related workshop versions, none of which Constable explicitly linked to Bellotto.29 By the time of the supplemented second edition of 1989, revised by J. G. Links, the opinion of Jack Goodison of the Fitzwilliam Museum had been appended (“listed by Constable… as by Canaletto but more probably workshop”).30 Constable had seemingly never hesitated about the attribution to Canaletto, and Links, who possessed Constable’s photograph after the work (the reverse of which bore the unambiguous one-word attribution “Canaletto”), appeared initially unprepared to concede to growing uncertainties about the attribution towards the end of the twentieth century.31 Few paintings were then allocated to Bellotto’s Venetian period. Stefan Kozakiewicz, the author of the first catalogue raisonné on the artist, accepted only six Venetian works as definitively by the artist, two of which were versions of the Getty painting (but not the Getty painting itself).32 Since the 1990s, however, Dario Succi, Bozena Kowalczyk, and latterly Charles Beddington, have attributed many more paintings to Bellotto’s early Venetian period, the Getty painting being one of the earlier reattributions.33
Although there is now a scholarly consensus on the attribution of the Getty painting to Bellotto, an important aspect of the canvas is its relationship to the pool of other works depicting the same view. Luca Carlevarijs first established the specific prospect of the Salute used by Bellotto in his famous 1703-04 print series, the plate entitled “Altra veduta della Chiesa della Salute,” with Canaletto later enlarging the view for a c.1734 drawing (fig. 3-4).34 Subsequent painted reconfigurations used the Palazzo Pisani-Gritti as a framing device, of which there are no less than twenty-three known painted versions, derivations, and copies; the Getty painting is easily the largest.
Of these many executions, there are at least five extant high quality, principal types, differing from each other in the placement of figures, vessels, and the surfaces and proportions of buildings, four of which are currently thought to be from Bellotto’s hand. Canaletto’s single surviving painted version is distinct in coloring, light, architectural erosion and figure formation. (In a difference revealing of the variation in the two artists’ commitment to realistic detail, Canaletto omitted the metal bars running diagonally through each window casement in the left-hand palazzo which in the Getty Bellotto is so painstakingly rendered.) Painters clearly often produced this view as part of a pendant. Many of the paintings are or were coupled with another Venetian scene, frequently either of Piazza San Marco or another stretch of the Grand Canal. The Palazzo Pisani-Gritti’s strong left-hand vertical lent itself to such a paired orchestration. These principal types in turn relate to various sub-versions and copies (for a list of the known versions, please see appendix below). (Fig. 5-6)
Currently, there is no consensus about the sequence in which the two artists produced their principal versions.35 While Beddington argues that Bellotto’s drawing preceded his paintings, Kowalczyk asserts that the Fitzwilliam Museum version is the painter’s chief rendering and the Darmstadt drawing is a record of the Getty painting.36 Whether or not Bellotto relied on an pre-existing painted precedent in Canaletto’s oeuvre – which remains to be proven – many of the younger artist’s Venetian views around this c.1742-43 period should be considered not as copies, but rather like highly conscious, individualized reinterpretations of his teacher’s oeuvre.37 The Canaletto painting in the Fitzwilliam Museum is not necessarily a prior, prototypical execution but more a parallel accomplishment; indeed, Canaletto’s painting may even postdate Bellotto’s work in the same collection.38 In fact, some scholars draw attention to the apparent transformation of Canaletto’s style – more “wintery” and analytical – precisely during the period Bellotto was in his studio (1738-42), suggesting the lines of influence between the two artists were more reciprocal than we might assume.39
Revealing of this reciprocity, certain details of the Getty painting’s early provenance indicate that the original purchaser, possibly the Craven family, acquired it as a work by Canaletto. Indeed, the connection between the Getty painting and the Earls of Craven may well stretch to the mid-eighteenth century, if not the time of its execution, depending on the interpretation of a comment by Sir George Scharf (1820-1895), a prominent British art critic and director of the National Portrait Gallery. Seeing this painting at an 1857 exhibition (there attributed to Canaletto) Scharf wrote, “Lord Craven [William, 2nd Earl of Craven (1809-1866)] still holds the painter’s receipt for two of the Venetian scenes (826 and 827) given to his ancestor.”40 There is no reason to disbelieve Scharf, usually a reliable source. We know that he likely had contact with the family, having visited Combe Abbey in 1853 in order to record his impressions of the collection, adding enthusiastic praise for the Venetian pendant.41 The abbey, previously a Cistercian monastery, was the principal residence of the Earls, home to many of the family’s most treasured artworks, like two other painting today also in the Getty Museum: Jan Lievens, Prince Charles Louis of the Palatinate with his Tutor Wolrad von Plessen in Historical Dress, 1631 (71.PA.53) and Workshop of Rembrandt, A Young Scholar and his Tutor, c.1629-30 (84.PA.570). On the same 1853 visit Scharf conceivably viewed the “painter’s receipt” with the earl incumbent, for whom it was evidently a treasured document.
Scharf’s statement would suggest that an unnamed Craven forebear either acquired the pendant from Canaletto or through an intermediary, or subsequently received it at some unspecified time accompanied by the receipt. The transaction presumably took place between the painting’s execution c.1743 and the succession of the then-present Earl on the death of his father, William, 1st Earl of Craven (1770-1825). However, Scharf’s use of “ancestor” seems to imply a more historical (and possibly also a more indirect) forebear.42 If the acquisition had occurred during Canaletto’s lifetime, the most likely recipient – assuming the painting was acquired by the head of the family – was Fulwar, 4th Baron Craven (1700/04-1764), living three generations before, with the purchase taking place after his succession to the barony in 1739.
It has been claimed that the painting was not in Combe Abbey, Warwickshire, and hence probably also not in the Cravens’ possession, until after at least 1814, the date of a description of the household contents in which the pendant does not feature.43 The paintings are certainly missing from the Combe Abbey inventory of 1769.44 Horace Walpole does not list them in his visit to the house in 1768, neither does Thomas Pennant in his detailed review of the art collection published in 1783.45 But the author of the 1814 description records only a small proportion of the works, evident from a comparison against Pennant’s more thorough account. It is therefore possible that the pendant was hanging at Combe Abbey in 1814 or earlier, but most likely not before 1784.
If, interpreting Scharf’s annotation thus, the paintings were in the Cravens’ possession prior to their first documentation at Combe Abbey, they may have adorned the walls of another family residence. The Cravens owned several substantial properties beside the principal Warwickshire residence. Fulwar, the 4th Baron cited earlier, spent time on the family’s Berkshire estates at Ashdown House (also known as Ashdown Park, in present-day Oxfordshire), old Benham Park (called Benham Valence), and Hamstead Marshall, where he was eventually buried. The Cravens also owned 16 Charles St off Berkeley Square, London, from at least the first decades of the nineteenth century, if not even earlier.46 Interestingly, a label previously affixed to the Getty painting’s reverse indicates that it was in this property; it reads, “The Earl of Craven. 16 Berkley [sic] Square”, in a c.1800 hand.47 As we can trace the movements of the painting from the mid-nineteenth century onwards with reasonable confidence, it is even more probable that the label records the work’s location at some point before 1853.
We may hypothesize that the painting and its pendant were received and hung at this London address at some point prior to their transferal to Combe Abbey. The pair of Venetian views could have moved to Combe Abbey by 1833, when the companion piece appears in an exhibition as the property of the Earl of Craven.48 We cannot, however, securely establish whether the Getty painting was identical with the “Canaletto 126 View in Venice. Earl of Craven” displayed in Birmingham two years prior, in 1831, a reference often associated with the Salute view.49 By this point the Cravens possibly already possessed a third Venetian work attributed to Canaletto, the “Rialto at Venice” subsequently inventoried at Combe Abbey in 1866.50 The reference in the 1831 exhibition catalogue may therefore refer to this other Venetian work. Both the companion piece of Piazza San Marco and a view entitled “Grand Canal, Venice” (probably the Getty painting) subsequently feature in another exhibition at the same Birmingham Society of Arts in 1842 as the property of the Earl of Craven, attributed to Canaletto.51 With more confidence, however, we can place the pendant in Combe Abbey by 1853, the year of Scharf’s visit; and, in view of the receipt, we should assume that both paintings were acquired together before the companion piece’s first appearance in the 1831 exhibition – most likely decades earlier.52
To summarize, the pendant came into the Craven collection along with a painter’s receipt between c.1743 and 1831, probably even between c.1743 and c.1800, or whenever the label was added to the reverse. The pair of paintings hung in 16 Charles St and were transferred to Combe Abbey before 1853 – conceivably even before 1831 – hanging in the Brown Drawing Room by 1853. They remained at Combe Abbey until the twentieth century, photographed in 1909 hanging high up above a series of large fireplaces in what was then the library, after which point they were transferred to another Craven residence, Hamstead Marshall, where they remained until their sale in 1961.53
Canaletto and Bellotto
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Scharf’s annotation, however, is the logical assumption that the written “receipt” ascribed the pendant to Canaletto. If the document specified that the paintings had originated from Bellotto, Scharf, who had probably viewed the receipt, would surely have regarded them as his works. Indeed, there are several other cases from c.1740 where a foreign collector evidently knowingly purchased from the younger artist.54 The receipt’s ascription to Canaletto is not a problem for the painting’s attribution to Bellotto today, rather it may help our understanding of the complicated working relationship between the two artists in the early 1740s.
The young Bellotto has only in recent years begun to emerge as a distinct stylistic presence from his uncle’s shadow.55 Bellotto’s early “improved renditions” of Canaletto’s most popular compositions probably often sold as his uncle’s autograph work.56 The fact that Bellotto named himself after Canaletto obviously heightened the productive ambiguity, allowing the nephew’s works to pass as the uncle’s with even greater ease. As we have seen, however, Bellotto evidently also received his own commissions at this date.57 Working under the appellation of either “Bellotto” or “Canaletto” would presumably depend on the requirements of a specific commission.58 It remains to be determined whether, during these younger years, Bellotto’s nominal ownership over a commission significantly altered his painterly approach or style.
Evidently, Bellotto’s approximation of Canaletto’s style supplied him with patrons and professional advantages at an impressively early age, but there is a sense that, at the beginning of the 1740s, Bellotto was already far more than a student. Indeed, evidence suggests that his precocious talent caused his uncle some consternation.59 Perhaps it is no coincidence that during this precise time (1742-44) Canaletto began adding signatures to several of his works – then a new practice for him.60 This is why the Getty painting, a work so much larger than Canaletto’s version of the same view, is such a notable product of Bellotto’s early career; for it shows, “the first real signs of a prominent future as a great artist”.61 Here we witness the young apprentice striving to rework his teacher’s practice and, in some ways, even to surpass it.
- Niko Munz, J. Paul Getty Museum, Department of Paintings
Appendix: list of known versions
Here below, the known versions, all oil on canvas, are listed in no particular order. The more minor versions and copies appear indented under the principal type to which they chiefly correspond.
Bernardo Bellotto, View at the Entrance of the Grand Canal (Fitzwilliam Museum, no. 186; 59.4 x 94.6 cm).63
After Bellotto, sale, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, Chicago, October 16, 1988, lot. 324 (57 x 95.5 cm; ex-Cincinnati Art Museum, no. 1946.108; ex-Hanna; ex-Abram; ex-Seeley (by whom sold Christie’s, London, 22 June, 1928, lot. 173); a note on the reverse reads, “ptd for John Duke of Rutland” [presumably John Manners, 3rd Duke of Rutland (1696-1779)]). (fig. 6)64
After Bernardo Bellotto, National Gallery of Ireland, no. 705 (59 x 96 cm).
Follower of Bernardo Bellotto, sale, Christie’s, London, 29 October, 2014, lot. 212 (76.8 x 127.5 cm; sale Christie’s London, 13 July, 1951, lot. 165).
“Manner of William James, 20th century,” sale, Bonham’s, London, 28 October, 2009, lot. 228 (58.5 x 97).
After Bernardo Bellotto, sale, Sotheby’s, New York, January 29-30, 2016, lot. 646 (58.5 x 97 cm; formerly attributed to William James; sale, Sotheby’s, New York, October 14, 1992, lot. 128).
Bernardo Bellotto, Santa Maria del Salute, c.1743 (private collection / care of Richard Green 2010; 72 x 96.5 cm; sale, Christie’s, London, 11 January, 1995, lot. 25; ex-Stewart collection).65
- Bernardo Bellotto (?), sale, im Kinsky, Vienna, 24 June, 2014, lot. 524 (63.1 x 98.5 cm; ex-Hirsch collection in 1925).66
Bernardo Bellotto, View of the Grand Canal: Santa Maria della Salute and the Dogana from Campo Santa Maria Zobenigo, c.1743 (Getty Museum, 91.PA.73; 139.1 x 236.9 cm) / Bernardo Bellotto, Grand Canal with Santa Maria della Salute from Campo Santa Maria Zobenigo in the direction of Bacino San Marco, c.1743 (Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt, no. AE 2243; 23 x 38 cm).67
- After Bernardo Bellotto, Ca’ Rezzonico / Museo Correr, Venice (51 x 71 cm).68
“Bernardo Bellotto”, sale, Sotheby’s, London, 14 December, 2000, lot. 90 (as pair) (47.3 x 73.7 cm; previously with P. & D. Colnaghi).69
There are at least eleven other derivations of the same view. These are either less directly connected with the principal types in terms of compositional detail, or the lack of a reproduction has prevented their comparison:
Attributed to the Lyon Master, c.1743-44, art market, London [in 2005] (47.3 x 73.5 cm).70
Pietro Bellotti, c.1743-44, private collection, Canada [in 2010] (56.5 x 84 cm).71
Galleria Estense, Modena [in 1972] (43.5 x 70.5 cm).72
Munich, private collection [in 1972] (dimensions unknown).73
“Venetian School c.1720 (workshop of Michele Marieschi)”, sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 2 December, 1994, lot. 107 (62 x 97.5 cm; possibly equivalent with the painting listed immediately below sold at Hôtel Drouot; presumably ex-Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples).74
Sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 9 March, 1854, lot 159 (60 x 96 cm).
Sale, Mak van Waay, Amsterdam, 12 May, 1936, lot. 3 (53 x 80 cm).75
“After Canaletto”, sale, Sotheby’s, London, 14 December, 1977, lot. 294 (79 x 130 cm).
Baron Ash collection, Wingfield Castle, Suffolk [in 1961] (dimensions unknown).76
Sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, Spiridon Sale, 27 May, 1911, lot. 12 (38 x 62 cm; including more buildings to the right).77
Private collection, Sussex (dimensions unknown; apparently close to the previously cited painting in the Spiridon Sale).78
- On the painting, see, most recently, the entry by Niko Munz in the catalogue accompanying the exhibition, Bernardo Bellotto – On the 300th Anniversary of the Painter’s Birth (The Royal Castle in Warsaw, 2022-2023 [forthcoming at time of writing]). See, also, Bozena Anna Kowalczyk ed., Bellotto and Canaletto: Wonder and Light, exh. cat. (Milan: Galleria d\‘Italia, with Silvana Editoriale, 2016), pp. 80-81, no. 14 and Edgar Peters Bowron ed., Bernardo Bellotto and the Capitals of Europe, exh. cat. (Houston: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 2001), pp. 64-69, no. 8 (entry by Bozena Anna Kowalczyk). ↩
- Cleveland Museum of Art no. 1962.169. See Kowalczyk 2016a (note 1), pp. 82-83, no. 15; Alan Chong, European & American Painting in The Cleveland Museum of Art: A Summary Catalogue (Cleveland: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1993), p. 8; William G. *Canaletto: Giovanni Antonio Canal 1697-1768.* 2nd ed., rev. by J. G. Links (Oxford and New York: Clarendon Press, 1989), pp. 208-09, no. 53; European Paintings of the 16^th^, 17th, and 18th Centuries: The Cleveland Museum of Art Catalogue of Paintings Part Three (Cleveland: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1982), vol. 3, pp. 316-18, no. 141. ↩
- In Antonio Visentini’s engravings after Canaletto’s canonical views of the Grand Canal from the 1720s, the print showing the Dogana and the Salute from the opposite vantage point is entitled “Caput Canalis et Ingressus in Vrbem” (The Head of the Canal and Entrance to the City): Prospectus Magni Canalis Ventiarum, addito Certamine Nautico et Nundinis Venetis… (Venice: Pasquali, 1742), pl. vi. ↩
- Baldassare Longhena’s church of Santa Maria della Salute (‘of health’) was consecrated in 1687 to commemorate the plague of 1630-31, which killed around 50,000 citizens. ↩
- The original three-dimensionality of these details is now diminished by the thinning effect of the canvas’ relining. The relining and new stretcher were probably carried out in England during the nineteenth century (Conservation file, Getty Museum). In the early 1990s, Getty conservators also documented that a recent treatment prior to purchase retained certain areas of the older discolored varnish in the buildings to the right of the Salute, the two foreground gondolas and some of the Palazzo Pisani-Gritti. ↩
- Giorgio Marini, “‘Con la propria industria e sua professione.’ Nuovi documenti sulla giovinezza di Bellotto,” Verona Illustrata 6 (1993), p. 129-30. For Bellotto’s biography see Charles Beddington, ed. Venice: Canaletto and His Rivals, exh. cat. (London: National Gallery, with Yale University Press, 2010), pp. 116-21. ↩
- On the development of Venetian vedute, a genre pioneered by Luca Carlevarijs that reached a height of success around the middle of the eighteenth century, see Charles Beddington, “Venetian View Painting in the Eighteenth Century,” In Beddington 2010 (note 6), pp. 10-53. ↩
- The Grand Canal at the Entrance to the Canale di Santa Chiara, looking South-East along the Fondamenta di Santa Chiara . See Stefan Kozakiewicz, Bernardo Bellotto. Mary Whittall, trans. (London: Elek, 1972), vol. 2, p. 19, no. 20, illus. ↩
- Where he is recorded between 1738 and 1743. ↩
- Beddington 2010 (note 6), p. 116. ↩
- In an ‘Account of my Pictures’ begun in 1739, James Harris, father of 1^st^ Earl of Malmesbury, records his acquisition of “Four views of Venice… two… by Antonio Bellotto, one representing the Custom House; the other, the Rialto… They were painted all at Venice, & imported at my Request by Mr. Wm Hayter of London March 1743” (cited in ibid.) As Bellotto was known by his uncle’s name, and signed works “Bernardo Bellotto detto Il Canaletto,” it is perhaps telling that in this reference he has confusingly accrued Canaletto’s first name, Antonio. On Bellotto’s various appellations, see Kozakiewicz 1972 (note 8), vol. 1, pp. 55-57. ↩
- See note 3. ↩
- For two examples, see Bowron 2001 (note 1), pp. 50-55, no. 3-4. ↩
- See note 11. ↩
- Alice Binion, “I Bellotto di Schulenburg,” In Bernardo Bellotto: Verona e le città europee, exh. cat. Sergio Marinelli, ed. (Milan: Electa, with Museo di Castelvecchio, Verona, 1990), p. 27. ↩
- Abecedario pittorico del M.R.P. Pellegrino Antonio Orlandi, Bolognese: contente notizie de’ professori di pittura, scoltura, ed architettura… (Venice: Pasquali, 1753), p. 101: “Per consiglio del Zio…” See Bozena Anna Kowalczyk, “Bellotto and Canaletto: The Success of Separation” In Kowalczyk 2016a (note 1), p. 21, on dating. ↩
- ibid., p. 27. ↩
- This quotation, often excerpted, should be interpreted in context. Thus, following the careful studies Bellotto made during his Roman sojourn, “Becoming more and more skilled through such practice, he returned to Venice via Verona, Brescia and Milan, where, to great acclaim, he depicted the most well-known prospects of those regions on canvas. And he painted yet many more of the same things in Venice, so diligently and naturally executed that great understanding is required to distinguish them from those of his uncle. Now, he is in Dresden…” (“Con tale esercizio rendendosi sempre più abile ritornato a Venezia passo a Verona, Brescia, e Milano, dove con molta sua lode le più cospicue prospettive di quei paesi in tele ritrasse; e molto ancora ne dipinse di quelle di Venezia così diligentemente e al naturale eseguite, che un grande intendimento ricercasi in chi vuole distinguerle da quello del Zio. Presentemente è in Dresda…”). Orlandi 1753 (note 16), p. 101. ↩
- E.g. Bozena Anna Kowalczyk, “Bellotto veneziano: ‘grande intendimento ricercasi’,” Arte Veneta, no. 48 (1996), p. 71. ↩
- ibid., p. 83. ↩
- Kowalczyk 2016a (note 1), p. 80, no. 14. ↩
- Bowron 2001 (note 1), p. 66, no. 8. Note that the gates were commissioned in 1733, cast in 1734, but not installed until 1742. See Giulio Lorenzetti, “La Loggetta al Campanile di S. Marco,” L’Arte 13 (1910), pp. 108-33 (esp. p. 116). However, a close inspection of the Cleveland work by the present author suggests that the gates are actually absent. Indeed, Richard Beresford and Peter Raissis, The James Fairfax Collection of Old Master Paintings, Drawings and Prints (Sydney: Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2003), pp. 48-53, no. 10 (esp. p. 52), date the canvas prior to 1742, maintaining that it omits these gates. They also highlight that the Cleveland work shows Sansovino’s loggetta in an unfinished state, whereas in a view by Canaletto (Royal Collection Trust, RCIN 400516), dated 1744, it is apparently finished. Thus, the Cleveland painting must at least pre-date 1744. ↩
- The aborted domes’ reddish outlines are also visible as pentimenti in the painting itself. Cf. Kowalczyk 2016a (note 1), pp. 82-83, no. 15 (“… the painted sketch of the volumes might have been helpful for understanding the balance between the two compositions but more likely it was a failed experiment”). ↩
- What’s more, the Cleveland canvas may have been enlarged by two strips: one on the right edge, one on the top. This observation is yet to be confirmed by the Cleveland Museum of Art. ↩
- Matthias Bleyl, Bernardo Bellotto genannt Canaletto: Zeichnungen aus dem Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt (Darmstadt: Hessisches Landesmuseum, 1981), p. 29, no. 19 (no. AE 2243). Brown pen over pencil, 22.6 x 38 cm. See also Kozakiewicz 1972 (note 8), vol. 2, pp. 11 and 13. ↩
- Bleyl 1981 (note 25), p.5. ↩
- ibid., p. 7. ↩
- ibid., p.29. ↩
- W. G. Constable, *Canaletto: Giovanni Antonio Canal 1697-1768. *Vol. 2, *The Catalogue Raisonn*é (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1962), p. 259, no. 180. ↩
- W. G. Constable, Canaletto: Giovanni Antonio Canal 1697-1768. 2nd ed., rev. by J. G. Links (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976), vol. 2, p. 273, no. 180; Constable and Links 1989 (note 2), vol. 2, p. 273-74, no. 180. Cf. J. W. Goodison and G. H. Robertson, Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge: Catalogue of Paintings (Cambridge: Fitzwilliam Museum, 1967), vol. 2, p. 14. ↩
- Documentation dated November 1989 and September 1991, Paintings Department, Getty Museum. Links, following Constable, believed that there were no suggestions that Bellotto ever composed or invented a painting while he was in Venice, a view that is now discredited due to the authentication of various capricci by his hand which are separate from the Canaletto corpus, on which see Bozena Anna Kowalczyk, “Bernardo Bellotto and the Formation of an Original Style,” In Bowron 2001 (note 1), p. 3. But see J. G. Links, A Supplement to W. G. Constable’s Canaletto: Giovanni Antonio Canal 1697-1768 (London: Pallas Athene Arts, 1998), p. 19, no. 180 for Links’ re-attribution of the Getty painting to “a period when Bellotto was active in the studio”. Links also possibly appears to have had uncertainties over the original production of the Getty painting and the work in Cleveland as a “pendant” in the sense that we would usually understand (Documentation dated September 1991, Paintings Department, Getty Museum). ↩
- Kozakiewicz 1972 (note 8), vol. 2, pp. 11, 13, no. 7-8. Whereas the Fitzwilliam Museum version has retained the attribution to Bellotto, the ex-Otto Hirsch collection has recently been downgraded by Kowalczyk to a follower; see work referenced at note 66 in appendix below. ↩
- E.g., Kowalczyk 1996 (note 19). For an overview of these reattributions in the 1990s and early 2000s, see Charles Beddington, “Bernardo Bellotto and His Circle in Italy. Part 1: Not Canaletto but Bellotto,” The Burlington Magazine 146, no. 1219 (October 2004), pp. 665-74 (esp. p. 665-67). ↩
- Luca Carlevarijs Le Fabriche e Vedute di Venezia, disegnate, poste in prospettiva et intagliate da Luca Carlevaris (Venice: Finazzi, 1703-04), pl. 5. The Canaletto drawing is now in the Royal Collection Trust (RCIN 907461). ↩
- Dario Camuffo, “La Camera Oscura: il nostro occhio nel passato”, In Il vedutismo veneziano: una nuova visione. Atti del Seminario 27 maggio 2011. Pinacoteca di Brera, Milano (Milan: Fondazione Bracco, 2012), pp. 53-113, esp. 109-10, attempted to determine the sequence of versions of this view based on a technical comparison of the “standard deviations” of architectural features in the Palazzo Pisani-Gritti, with the resulting hypothesis that the Fitzwilliam Canaletto was painted first, followed by (in chronological sequence) the Fitzwilliam Bellotto, the Getty painting, the work sold at Colnaghi, the ‘ex-Stewart’ painting, and lastly the Ca’ Rezzonico version. Note that the author confuses two of the works and their images (which in the previous sentence I have corrected). Camuffo’s ’D’ is actually the (now) ex-P. & D. Colnaghi work (see work referenced under note 69 in appendix below), his ‘E’ the ‘ex-Stewart’ (see work referenced under note 38 in appendix below). ↩
- Charles Beddington, “Bernardo Bellotto and His Circle in Italy. Part II: The Lyon Master and Pietro Bellotti,” The Burlington Magazine 147, no. 1222 (January 2005), p. 18; Kowalczyk 2016a (note 1), p. 80, no. 14. ↩
- E.g. Kowalczyk 2016b (note 16), p. 20. ↩
- Bowron 2001 (note 1), pp. 64-68, no. 8. ↩
- Beddington 2004 (note 33), pp. 668, 673-74. ↩
- George Scharf, *A Handbook to the Paintings by Ancient Masters in the Art Treasures Exhibition* (London: Bradbury and Evans, 1857), p. 69. Cf. Catalogue of the Art Treasures of the United Kingdom, Collected at Manchester in 1857, exh. cat. (London: Bradbury and Evans, 1857), p. 60 (“826 The Dogana and S. M. della Salute, Venice. Earl of Craven. 827. Piazza di San Marco, Venice. Ditto.“). Unfortunately, this receipt seems no longer extant. It neither appears among the personal accounts and receipt books in MSS 130-34 (1727-56) and MSS 136-37 (1733-64) of the Craven Papers in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, nor among the “miscellaneous bills and receipts” of 1697-1887 (D/EC/A9) from the Craven Papers in the Berkshire Record Office, Reading. My thanks to Michael Webb and Lisa Spurrier for this research between March and May, 2022. Examples of Canaletto’s receipts are published in W. G. Constable, “Some Unpublished Canalettos,” The Burlington Magazine 42, no. 243 (June 1923), pp. 284-88 and David Buttery, “Canaletto at Warwick,” The Burlington Magazine 129, no. 1012 (July 1987), pp. 437-45. ↩
- George Scharf, Scharf Sketch Book (n.p., 1853), SSB 25: “2 fine Canalettis on each side 8 & 6. Gran canal. S. M. della Salute & Dogana. & Piazza S. Marco looking towards 2 columns with Duomo on l. hand”, which he saw hanging in the “Brown Drawing Room”. ↩
- Interestingly, another of the painted versions listed in the appendix below (see under note 36), ex-Cincinnati Art Museum, no. 1946.108, may have been painted for an English patron, John Manners, 3rd Duke of Rutland (1696-1779), actively collecting from at least the early 1740s – supported by both a label on its reverse (“ptd for John Duke of Rutland”) and a note of Herman Voss dated January 15, 1929 (“according to tradition… painted for a Duke of Rutland”). For these, see documentation in Cincinnati Art Museum (1946.108 [deaccessioned]), a copy of which is available in documentation, Paintings Department, Getty Museum. Belvoir Castle, the chief residence of the Dukes of Rutland, is only 50 miles northeast of Combe Abbey, home to the Earls of Craven. ↩
- John Britton et al., The Beauties of England and Wales: or Original Delineations, Topographical, Historical, and Descriptive… (London: Harris, Longman and co., 1814), vol. 15, pp. 50-57. ↩
- Bodleian Library Craven MSS 293, Inventory of Combe Abbey 1769; Thomas Pennant, *The Journey from Chester to London* (Dublin: Luke White, 1783), pp. 181-89. The Bodleian Library typescript of various manuscripts making up the Craven Papers mentions an inventory of Ashdown House taken in 1739 which I have yet to consult. Although not included in the aforementioned Bodleian Library typescript of the Craven Papers (and I can find no trace of them elsewhere), Burton Frederickson (documentation in the Paintings Department, Getty Museum) noted two further extant eighteenth-century Craven inventories in which he claimed he did not find the Bellotto/Canaletto: “An Inventory of the Household Furniture of the Right Hon.ble William Lord Craven Deceased. Taken at his Late dwelling house in Brook Street the 7th of Sept. 1739 by Order of the Right Hon.ble Fullwar Lord Craven”; “An Inventory of the Personal Estate of the Late Right Honeable William Lord Craven, Taken at Comb Abbey in Warwickshire, By Order of the Right Hon.ble Fullwar Lord Craven Sept. 17 1739.” ↩
- “Horace Walpole’s Journals of Visits to Country Seats,” The Walpole Society 16 (1927-1928), p. 63. ↩
- Burke’s Genealogical and Heraldic History of Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage (London: Harrison, 1868), vol. 30, p. 217. William, 1st Earl Craven, married Louisa Brunton in December 1807 at Charles St, Berkeley Square, London; see G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, eds., The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed. (Gloucester: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), vol. 3, p. 505. But see note 44 above for evidence that the Earls of Craven owned a house in Brook Street (close to Berkeley Square, London) in 1739. ↩
- Conservation documentation, Getty Museum. ↩
- Catalogue of Pictures Chiefly by the Old Masters of the Italian, Flemish and Spanish Schools, exh. cat. (Birmingham: Birmingham Society of the Arts, with Thomas Knott, 1833), p. 17, no. 112: “Canaletto 112 Piazza di St. Marco, Venice. Earl of Craven”. ↩
- Catalogue of Pictures Chiefly by the Old Masters of the Italian, Spanish and Flemish Schools, exh. cat. (Birmingham: Birmingham Society of the Arts, with Thomas Knott, 1831), p. 22, no. 126. ↩
- *Catalogue of the Pictures at Combe Abbey, Warwickshire, The Seat of William Earl of Craven* (England: n.p., 1866), p. 12, no. 163; sale, Finarte, Milan, June 12, 1989, lot. 141 (53.5 x 70.5 cm; as Canaletto and anonymous collaborator, “Bernardo Bellotto”). Might this work have been acquired along with, or at a similar time to, the pendant by Bellotto? It is potentially of interest that Bellotto’s hand was detected in this work by both Constable and Kozakiewicz (the latter with reservations): Constable and Links 1989 (note 2), vol. 2, pp. 294-95, no. 227; Kozakiewicz 1972 (note 8), vol. 2, pp. 430, 432, no. Z185. Perhaps the Craven family unwittingly acquired three Bellottos as three Canalettos. (The prime version of the Rialto view, attributed to Canaletto, was offered for sale at Sotheby’s, New York, October 14, 2020, lot. 12.). ↩
- Catalogue of Pictures by Deceased Masters of the Italian, Spanish, Flemish, and English Schools, exh. cat. (Birmingham: Birmingham Society of the Arts, with Alfred Allen, 1842), p. 10, no. 58. ↩
- The Getty painting then features in the famous 1857 exhibition at Manchester City Art Gallery: see note 40 above for references. For the work’s subsequent provenance, refer to the entry on the Getty website. ↩
- The library was once a kitchen; see photograph of the library in “Combe Abbey. I. Warwickshire. A Seat of the Earl of Craven.“ Country Life 26, no. 674 (December 4, 1909), p. 801. See Inventory of Hamstead Marshall, Berkshire [manuscript] (n.p.: n.p., 1924), Craven MSS 373; *Hamstead Marshall, Formerly in the Collection of the Countess of Craven* (London: Courtauld Institute of Art, 1970), unpaginated, no. 1 (as Canaletto, “Grand Canal”). ↩
- See Beddington 2004 (note 33), pp. 666, 666n15. ↩
- Although today Bellotto is one of the best documented eighteenth-century painters (better documented than his uncle). For example, see Ewa Manikowska, “The Rediscovery of Bernardo Bellotto’s Inventory,” The Burlington Magazine 154, no. 1306 (January 2012), pp. 32-36 and Kowalczyk 2016a pp. 237-42, no. 83. ↩
- Bowron 2001 (note 1), pp. 70-73, no. 9; see Beddington 2004 (note 33), pp. 673, 673n62 and Beddington 2005 (note 36), p. 25. ↩
- See the examples referenced in notes 11 and 15 above. ↩
- Compare, for example, Bowron 2001 (note 1), pp. 42-45, no. 1 (Bellotto as Canaletto) and ibid., pp. 74-77, no. 10. Cf. Kowalczyk 2016a (note 1), pp. 64-65, no. 7: “required to paint like Canaletto”. ↩
- E.g., “Vertue’s Note Book B. 4 [British Museum. Add. MS. 23,074]”, The Walpole Society 22 (1933-1934), p. 151: “… it seems his name and family was Canali – so he always was calld – he had a sister who had a son who having some Genius. was instructed by this his uncle Cannali. and this young stripling by degrees came on forward in his proffession being taken notice of for his improvements he was calld Cannaleti – the young. but in time getting some degree of merrit. he being puffd up disobliged his Uncle who turnd him adrift. but well Imitating his uncles manner of painting became reputed and the name of Cannaletti was indifferently used by both uncle and nephew – from thence the uncle came to England and left the nephew at Venice so that this caused the report of two Cannelittis which was in this manner”. ↩
- Beddington 2010 (note 6), pp. 70-72. ↩
- Edgar Peters Bowron, \“Vedutismo nella Venezia del Settecento.\” In Da Vermeer a Kandinsky: capolavori dai musei del mondo a Rimini, exh. cat. Marco Goldin, ed. Viviana Tonon et al., trans. (Rimini: Castel Sismondo, with Linea d\‘ombra, 2012), p. 44. ↩
- Links 1998 (note 31), p. 19, no. 180(aa). ↩
- Goodison and Robertson 1967 (note 30), vol. 2, pp. 14-15, no. 186; Kozakiewicz 1972 (note 8), vol. 2, pp. 11 and 13. ↩
- Constable and Links 1989 (note 2), vol. 2, p. 273, no. 180(b)1; see documentation in Cincinnati Art Museum (1946.108 [deaccessioned]), a copy of which is also available in documentation, Paintings Department, Getty Museum. ↩
- Beddington 2010 (note 6), p. 124, pl. 47; see Constable and Links 1989 (note 2), vol. 2, p. 273, no. 180(a). ↩
- Formerly deemed to be by Bellotto. See Kowalczyk 2016a (note 1), p. 80, no. 14, for its re-attribution as a non-autograph replica. See also Constable and Links 1989 (note 2), vol. 2, p. 273, no. 180 (b)4. Kozakiewicz 1972 (note 8), vol. 2, pp. 11 and 13, where attributed to Bellotto and perhaps another hand in Canaletto’s workshop. ↩
- Bleyl 1981 (note 25), p. 29, no. 19. ↩
- Constable and Links, 1989 (note 2), p. 274, no. 180(b)6; Terisio Pigantti, Il Museo Correr di Venezia: Dipinti del XVII e XVIII Secolo (Venice: Neri Pozza Editore, 1960), pp. 35-37, no. 2257; reproduced in Dario Succi, “Bernardo Bellotto nell’ ‘atelier’ di Canaletto e la sua produzione giovanile a Castle Howard nello Yorkshire,” In Bernardo Bellotto detto il Canaletto, exh. cat. Dario Succi, ed. (Venice: Marsilio, with Villa Morosini, Mirano, 1999), p. 33, fig. 12. ↩
- This work has yet to be properly assessed by Bellotto scholars. ↩
- Beddington 2005 (note 36), p. 18, fig. 11, apparently following Bellotto’s – rather than Canaletto’s – precedent examples. ↩
- Illustrated in Beddington 2010 (note 6), p. 129, pl. 50, where it is said to reside in a Canadian private collection. ↩
- Kozakiewicz 1972 (note 8), vol. 2, pp. 424, 427, no. Z144. ↩
- ibid., p. 427, no. Z145. ↩
- Note that at c.1720 Marieschi would have been nine years old, hence the attribution is unfeasible. Significantly different in style and comparatively unpopulated, it also shows a cross beneath the street shrine on the palazzo wall not captured in the other cited versions. For the Naples record, see Kozakiewicz 1972 (note 8), vol. 2, pp. 424, 427, no. Z146. ↩
- Consulting the reproduction reveals that this painting does not closely follow any of the principal versions. ↩
- Documentation, Paintings Department, Getty Museum (entitled “From Fitzwilliam Files”, part of a list compiled by Jack Goodison presumably in the mid-Twentieth Century). ↩
- Constable and Links, 1989 (note 2), vol. 2, p. 273, no. 180(b)2. ↩
- ibid., p. 273, no. 180(b)3. ↩