1697: Caspar Van Wittel
paints Venice

... and meets the Chiesa della Salute, his favorite view of the city

Caspar Van Wittel, in the years 1694-1710, traveled quite a bit in Italy, and in early 1697, he was in Venice, visiting and painting.

The Chiesa della Salute had been consacrated on the 9th of November 1987, and it was an important architectural achievement.

So he prepared the drawings to paint several canvases of it, along the years, as it was sort of a novelty.

What makes it interesting, is that Van Wittel painted with a perspective that went stylistically way beyond Canaletto's work, with a more wide angular perspective.

Could this had happened because van Wittel, using glasses, had experimented with different lenses?


If we look closely at the two images, the pointy tower towards the center is almost in the same position in both paintings, but perspective in Vanvitelli's painting is way more exaggerated, compared to Canaletto's, which is quite flatter, more compressed.

I would state, in my photographer's experience, that the two images have been done, in 35mm lens parameters:
- Caspar Van Wittel: 24 mm
- Canaletto: 50-70 mm
A Camera Obscura view for Canaletto?

The perspective for all van Wittel 'Chiesa della Salute' paintings is the same, worked out in the years from the drawings he very likely made on board of a big stable boat as the paintings' viewpoint originates from the middle of the canal.

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