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Attributed to school of Canaletto (Italian painter, 1697-1768) , View of the Rialto Bridge, Venice

Core Record

Title View of the Rialto Bridge, Venice
Alternative Title Venice, Grand Canal: The Riato Bridge from the South
Collection Culture and Sport Glasgow (Museums): Pollok House
Artist Attributed to school of Canaletto (Italian painter, 1697-1768)
Previously attributed to Italian (Venetian) School
Date Earliest 1744
Date Latest probably about 1770
Description This straightforward view of the Rialto Bridge at Venice attests to the great fashion for collecting Venetian townscapes by Canaletto, his studio assistants and his followers and copiers. It reproduces a view painted several times by the famous view painter himself. Collecting Venetian townscapes first became fashionable in the late 1720s, and especially the 1730s in the circle of the British Grand Tour travellers who usually made their first longer stay in Italy at Venice, before travelling on to Rome. The painting, although quite darkened, appears to be by one of the better followers of this great Venetian artist.
Current Accession Number PC.90
Subject townscape (Venice, Rialto Bridge)
Measurements 66.0 x 102.6 cm cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Given by Mrs Anne Maxwell Macdonald 1967.
Publications Caw, J. L., Catalogue of Pictures at Pollok House, Glasgow, 1936, p. 86, no. 150, as Venetian school, late eighteenth century; Constable, W. G., Canaletto: Giovanni Antonio Canal 1697-1768, Oxford, 1962, vol. 2, pp. 307-8, 228b.4, as 'Perhaps by a later imitator of Canaletto' (attribution left unchanged in the editions revised by J. G. Links, 1976, 1989 and his A supplement to W. G. Constable's 'Canaletto', 1998); The Stirling Maxwell Collection Pollok House, Corporation of Glasgow: Museum and Art Galleries Department, c.1967, p. 49, no. 90, as unknown, late eighteenth century.
Notes Caw cited the opinion of the great Canaletto specialist W. G. Constable: 'It is not the work of Canaletto, but by a follower of his, evidently very capable man, though not of the first rank. I am inclined to think that it is considerably later than most of Canaletto's work and dates from the end of the 18th century. The quality and method of application of the pigment agrees better with the methods of the later followers of Canaletto than those of himself and his contemporaries.' Although the authority of this great connoisseur still has not been put into shade, there is no foundation for the last part of this opinion. A close examination of the painting revealed a technique quite similar to Canaletto, and although the level of execution cannot be compared with the masterpieces of virtuosity of the great Venetian master of townscape painting, the painting still belongs to the better third of Canaletto's followers, and the author was well aware of his studio practice and painting methods. It is not only possible but very probable that cleaning would reveal quite a higher quality and a degree of translucency that now only can be suspected. The painting could have been produced in the period of the great success of view painting when Canaletto himself could not satisfy the great number of requests from his Grand Tour customers, but also in the period of his absence from Venice in the 1740s and '50s. but probably not after Francesco Guardi took over a greater part of his clients and the taste for Canaletto changed. If Constable was right to identify his no. 228, which is signed and dated 1744, as the first version, this would constitute a terminus post quem for its dating.
Rights Owner Culture and Sport Glasgow (Museums)
Author Dr Heiner Krellig
 

 

 

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