You are here:

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


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.

See also

Contact us

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

Is something not working on this page? Please email

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar.