First Vedute: 1723 on

... finding a style and themes to paint

After the first period in which Canaletto "tested the market" with some of his "Capricci", he experimented with contrast and atmospheres which could satisfy him, and gain some interest in the prospective buyers.

Let's always remember that a painter was, more than ever, in those times, "a professional", and was working for money, and the more he could sell, the more famous he would become.
Nothing new, but just to place the character in the right prospect.

Some artists had a "full-time sponsor": the Church of Rome, for instance, and their paintings would go into churches and monasteries, others would cultivate the rich and nobles of their environment and make portraits of them.

Canaletto would end up painting expensive postcards for rich tourists and art collectors: nothing to be ashamed of, quite the opposite, only the rich in those times - and nowadays too, more than ever - could afford to cultivate their hobbies, travel around, instead of working.

And so he had to define a style and pick up the right subjects to paint.

The Rome drawing experiment had been a test, the Capricci had not raised the interest he hoped, and intense atmospheres with strong colors was one of his first immersion into describing Venice, the jewel city he was living in, showing how it could turn out painted by his skilled hands.

If Rome and the Capricci (which all along his life he always painted and loved to do) could not make it, maybe the peculiar city he was living in, would.

In the period 1720-23 Canaletto started experimenting with views of Venice, smoother in the colors, adding that liveliness in the characters that fill the sceneries that is a peculiarity of his art.

He would make a photographic snapshot of the everyday Venice of those times I would say, so fake that it feels real and intense: the city, its monuments and its people, its everyday activities and atmospheres - a feeling of being there - realism at its most.

This process of research I would place, according to the style achieved in his paintings, begun at around the year 1723, even though he was still experimenting with the Capricci, but was little by little finding his trail to the style that made him famous. Not wealthy in the end, but worldwide famous for sure.

 

Canaletto:  [ca. 1723-24] - Piazza San Marco looking west towards San Geminiano - Oil on canvas - Royal Collection
Canaletto: [ca. 1723-24] - Piazza San Marco looking west towards San Geminiano
Oil on canvas - Royal Collection - size (HxW): 134.6x173 cm

Canaletto:  [ca. 1725] - Il Canal Grande da Palazzo Corner Spinelli verso il Ponte di Rialto (Grand Canal Looking North East toward the Rialto Bridge) - Oil on canvas - Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden
Canaletto: [ca. 1725] - "Il Canal Grande da Palazzo Corner Spinelli verso il Ponte di Rialto" (Grand Canal Looking North East toward the Rialto Bridge)
Oil on canvas - Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden - size (HxW): 146x234 cm

Copyright by Roberto Delpiano 2022 - visit my website www.delpiano.com