Venetian artist who loved his home
Giovanni Antonio Canal (Canaletto) was born on October 7, 1696 in Venice. He received his first education from his father, Benedetto Canal, a theatrical painter. Canaletto became an accomplished veduta painter (ital. "Veduta" - "Lookout" is a kind of landscape painting depicting the realistic cityscapes).
He created the accuracy in his paintings using Camera Obscura. This Camera Obscura played with human perception and was used to create images by blurring distant objects and painting them as splashes of paint. The special feature of Canaletto was that he literally painted out of nature, while other masters of his time mainly spent in the studio.
Upon his return from Rome in 1719, Canaletto began to develop his famous meticulous, topographic style that resulted in impressive precision. The light in the picture was amazingly realistic, so that the atmosphere was particularly bright.
Venetian canals and Doge's palaces were the main subjects in his works (e.g., "Series of Twelve Views of the Grand Canal"). The individual view of the artist on urban festivals and daily life was very special. Through an impeccable color-light play, the viewer dives into the picture and gets the feeling of a connection to the represented object. The use of local colors and the warm Mediterranean light create an atmospheric effect that anticipates Impressionism in his works.
In the 1820s, Canaletto was allowed to present his paintings at the public exhibition in Present Venice. Especially for aspiring artists, this was a good opportunity to establish themselves. Giovanni Antonio took advantage of this opportunity, winning both success and future orders.
The Englishman Joseph Smith played the most important role in Canaletto's career. After the works of the Venetian painter enriched the famous collection of Joseph Smith, Canaletto received, thanks to his promotion, many more customers and orders. The culmination of his career was "The Chiesa della Carità or" The Workshop of Stonemasons "(1725/26). Then came "The Bacino di S. Marco on Ascension" (1733/34) and "Regatta on the Grand Canal" (around 1733/34).
However, the War of Austrian Succession (1740-1748) made sales fall. The number of British visitors dropped and in 1746 Canaletto went to England for nine years to be closer to its market. There he painted views of the Thames and Westminster Bridge. He got the introduction to the most important guests in London and painted for the Duke of Richmond and other patrons.
In 1755 the artist finally returned to Venice and in 1763 was invited to the Venetian Academy. His later works seem much darker and more imaginative, no longer so detailed and idealistic, and they are called "Capricci" - imaginary views.
He stayed and worked in Venice until his death in 1768.
His pupils included his nephew Bernardo Bellotto, Francesco Guardi, Michele Marieschi, Gabriele Bella, Giuseppe Moretti and Giuseppe Bernardino Bison.