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Capriccio: A Palace with a Courtyard by the Lagoon

Capriccio: A Palace with a Courtyard by the Lagoon

c. 1750-1755

Antonio Canaletto

(Italian, 1697-1768)

Pen and brown ink and brush and gray wash with brush and black ink, over traces of graphite (?), framing lines in brown and black ink

Support: Cream(1) laid paper

Sheet: 26.9 x 42.1 cm (10 9/16 x 16 9/16 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1930.23

Description

Venice was a major destination for 18th-century aristocrats visiting Europe's cultural sites on the grand tour, and it was fashionable to bring home a Canaletto veduta, or view painting, to commemorate the trip. This drawing exemplifies Canaletto's capricci, architectural fantasies amalgamating buildings, archaeological remains, and other architectural elements into imaginary and often whimsical combinations. The view is animated by the inclusion of peasants in the foreground who go about their daily business and even more so by the effect of sunlight flickering over the city known as La Serenissima, the Most Serene.

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