Canaletto (1697-1768) painted his native city of Venice throughout his career, repeatedly revisiting its bridges and canals, the churches and the campi, and the beautiful buildings around Piazza San Marco.
The works he made are a fascinating record of the city, and the National Gallery has one of the finest collections of his paintings in the world, including The Stonemason's Yard and Venice: A Regatta on the Grand Canal.
Canaletto's contemporaries admired his accuracy and ability to capture the effects of sunlight, but his pictures were not simple, objective records of buildings and perspectives. When we look closely, we see that Canaletto was far from being a dispassionate observer. He freely employed a highly refined artistic licence and made subtle adaptations to the topography of the scenes he depicted; according to his requirements he combined viewpoints or adopted impossible views, removed buildings or added them.
This absorbing Canaletto DVD, made on location in Venice and directly from his Renaissance paintings, explored how Canaletto produced his archetypal views of the city. It takes you on a trip along the Grand Canal from San Simeone Piccolo to Piazza San Marco, looking at Venice through Canaletto's eyes.
Running time approximately 25 minutes • Region free • English subtitles