Back to Venice: (1755 on)

Return to his origins and his city

By the end of 1750 Canaletto goes temporarily back to Venice to take care of his business in the city, and stays there for the next 8 months.

Then he returns to England for 4 more years, but we know that before the 12th of December 1755 he is back to Venice for good.

In that date he makes an investment for the Pio Ospedale degli Incurabili - in the study of the notary public Vettor Todeschini - for the amount of 2200 ducats, very likely the money he had earned during the second phase of his British stay.

And he also creates a life annuity fund for himself and for his two unmarried sisters: Vienna Francesca and Francesca Marina.

He goes on with his painting productions portraying Venice, although changes a little his repertory, adding more Capricci to his oeuvre (he always liked to make them, and never stopped, but there was no market for them!) and elaborating from his British experience on the use of light: more contrast, bigger impact.

Canaletto also experiments with a few nocturnal views, uses more and more the vertical framing he had already experimented in Rome a few years earlier, and devotes more time to his drawings.

I would say that having guaranteed enough support money for his future life (he's 58 years old by now ...) he resumes doing those experimentations he had to give up to create a name and a business for himself.

In 1763 he gets finally accepted by the Accademia delle Belle Arti, from which he had already been rejected, not having dedicated his art to Religious Art or Historical subjects, maybe.

At the same time, getting old and - I would assume - becoming less interested in working and being competitive, he loses ground to the new Vedute painters, like Francesco Guardi, who proposes a different, more dynamic brushwork to the same views, and times and tastes are changing, and evolving too ...

When he dies, in 1768, 71 years old, his belongings betray the fact he was leading a minimal, essential life, even though he had quite a bit of money invested, showing how much his main (and only?) interest in life was his Art.

And he had succeeded in putting his name in the firmament of the Great Artists.

His name also being a trade brand for his nephew Bernardo Bellotto (1722-1780), who had long been signing his paintings as "Canaletto" to guarantee better acceptance / sales ...


Canaletto:  [1755] - Capriccio con architetture classiche e rinascimentali (Architectural Capriccio) - Oil on canvas - BNL BNP Paribas Group
Canaletto: [1755] - "Capriccio con architetture classiche e rinascimentali" (Architectural Capriccio)
Oil on canvas - BNL BNP Paribas Group - size (HxW): 87x121.5 cm

Canaletto:  [1760] - The Bucintoro at the Molo on Ascension Day - Oil on canvas - Dulwich Picure Gallery, London
Canaletto: [1760] - The Bucintoro at the Molo on Ascension Day
Oil on canvas - Dulwich Picure Gallery, London - size (HxW): 58.3x101.8 cm

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