Image Resources | Currently on View in William L. and Jane H. Fortune Gallery

View of the Piazzetta San Marco Looking South

Canaletto (Italian, 1697-1768)


Trained by his father as a painter of theatrical scenery, Canaletto was the most celebrated view painter in Venice during the 18th century. His paintings were especially popular with foreigners, who bought them as souvenirs of their Italian tours.

The scene is topographically correct: the view south from the Piazzetta of San Marco is dominated by the west façade of the Ducal Palace on the left and by the Loggetta and Campanile on the right. In the distance, the column of St. Mark and dome and bell tower of San Giorgio Maggiore are visible. The masked figures in the square indicate that it is carnival season.

Prince Franz Josef of Liechtenstein[1726-1781];{1}by descent through the Princes of Liechtenstein, Vienna and later Vaduz. (Frederick Mont, New York).{2}(Newhouse Galleries, New York);{3} Mr. and Mrs. Elijah B. [1903-1967] Martindale, Indianapolis; given to the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 1953.

{1}This painting is said to appear in the 1780 catalogue/inventory of Liechtenstein paintings as no. 195. (This has not yet been verified.)
{2}Mont is listed as an owner in the catalogue raisonné, see W.G. Constable, Canaletto, Giovanni Antonio Canal, 1697-1768, Oxford, 1976, 2 vols., cat. no. 58 (ill.). According to an article in Time magazine, "Art: By Appointment Only," 3 August 1970, "Mont was chosen as sole agent by the Prince of Liechtenstein for the sale of masterpieces from his collection."
{3}Newhouse Galleries provided the Martindale's with a folder on the painting, see IMA Historical File (53.8).

Object Information

artist
Canaletto (Italian, 1697-1768)
creation date
about 1735
materials
oil on canvas
dimensions
21-1/8 x 28-1/4 in.
accession number
53.8
credit line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Elijah B. Martindale
copyright
Public Domain
collection
European Painting and Sculpture Before 1800
colors