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Imaginary View of Venice: The House with the Inscription and The House with the Peristyle

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Canaletto (aka Giovanni Antonio Canal)
Italian, 1697–1768

Imaginary View of Venice: The House with the Inscription and The House with the Peristyle

1741; published about 1744–1746
Views, Some Taken from Places, Others Invented (Vedute Altre prese da i Luoghi Altre ideate)

Object Type: Print
Creation Place: Southern Europe, Italian, Venice
Dimensions:
11 3/4 in. x 16 7/8 in. (29.85 cm x 42.86 cm)
Medium and Support: Etching on paper
Accession Number: 1979.0005

Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Weil, Jr., in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Weil, Sr.


The only dated work in the "Vedute...", a series of etchings representing some actual sites and some imaginary ones, this divided plate “conveys the monumentality and complexity of his undertaking….” This print “depicts some identifiable landmarks in the city but arranges them into an artistically satisfying rather than an accurate view.” The image incorporates “an extraordinary variety of linear patterns and textures as well as more adept description of a wider panorama [that] marks this as a mature work . . . However, the weight of the composition is carried by the foreground and the vista: the core of the scene is less interesting or legible and falls into minute detail of insignificant detail.” It is not known why the artist divided this plate down the middle soon after it was made, but fewer than ten impressions are known from the undivided plate.

"Italian Master Prints of the 18th Century: Selections from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Weil, Jr.," exh. cat., (Montgomery: Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 1984), 20, and "Durer, Rembrandt, and Beyond from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Weil, Jr., "exh. cat. (Montgomery: Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 1994,) 36. The date, 1741, is in Roman numerals on the wall at the left.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has an impression from the undivided plate. See http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/335287?rpp=20&pg=1&ft=canaletto&pos=4, accessed 12 September 2013.

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