Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal) (Italian, Venice 1697–1768 Venice)
Oil on canvas
18 3/4 x 31 1/4 in. (47.6 x 79.4 cm)
Purchase, George T. Delacorte Jr. Gift, 1959
Not on view
A bird's eye view is to a degree imaginary, even if the scene is real, and this view is taken from high above the Grand Canal and the landing stage at Santa Maria della Salute. The panorama embraces the entrance to the canal in the direction of the bacino, with, at the right, the façade and dome of the church, one of the most splendid sights that Venice affords. The Salute church was designed by Baldassare Longhena (1598–1682) and built beginning in 1631, in thanksgiving for the deliverance of the city from the virulent plague of the previous year. Beyond is the façade of the Seminario Patriarcale and further along the tower of the Dogana, or Customs House, seen above warehouse roofs. At the left on the waterfront are some of the most important buildings in Venice: the mint, the library, one of the columns in the Piazzetta, Palazzo Ducale, and the prison, with the Riva degli Schiavoni stretching in a gentle curve toward the right. In the foreground are gondolas; beyond, large numbers of ocean-going ships, their rigging silhouetted against the sky.
The scene, compressed in depth and painted with maximum clarity in a clear light with slanting shadows, is probably from about 1740. Canaletto's earliest picture of the canal and the Salute from the west is ten or twelve years earlier, while his largest and most famous canvas of this subject dates to 1744 and is in the British royal collection.
[Katharine Baetjer 2011]
[Caspari Galleries, Munich, by 1926; sold to Colnaghi]; [Colnaghi, London, 1926–27; sold to Leggatt]; [Leggatt, London, 1927–28; sold to Reid]; Mrs. Whitelaw Reid, Ophir Hall, Purchase, N.Y. (1928–35; sale, American Art Association/Anderson Galleries, New York, May 14–18, 1935, no. 1157, for $1,300 to Weitzner); [Julius H. Weitzner, New York, 1935–38; sold for $3,000 to Minneapolis]; Minneapolis Institute of Arts (1938–58; sold to Weitzner); [Julius H. Weitzner, New York, from 1958]; [Rosenberg & Stiebel, New York, until 1959; sold to MMA]
San Francisco. California Palace of the Legion of Honor. "Exhibition of Italian Baroque Painting: 17th and 18th Centuries," May 16–June 15, 1941, no. 9 (lent by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Venetian Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum," May 1–September 2, 1974, no catalogue.
Athens. National Gallery Alexandros Soutzos Museum. "From El Greco to Cézanne: Masterpieces of European Painting from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," December 13, 1992–April 11, 1993, no. 32.
Oklahoma City Museum of Art. "La Serenissima: Eighteenth-Century Venetian Art from North American Collections," September 9, 2010–January 2, 2011, no. 35.
Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. "Earth, Sea, and Sky: Nature in Western Art; Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 6, 2012–January 4, 2013, no. 125.
Beijing. National Museum of China. "Earth, Sea, and Sky: Nature in Western Art; Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 8–May 9, 2013, no. 125.
"Furniture and Art of Whitelaw Reid Realize $290,322." Art News 33 (May 25, 1935), p. 14, as sold to Weitzner for $1300.
"Fine Paintings, Ceramics, in Reid Sale to be Held by American-Anderson Galleries." Art News 33 (May 4, 1935), ill. p. 17.
"Canaletto's Venice." Bulletin of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts 27 (November 5, 1938), pp. 147–49, ill.
W. G. Constable. Canaletto: Giovanni Antonio Canal, 1697–1768. Oxford, 1962, vol. 2, p. 257, no. 175, compares it with the Windsor Castle version; lists others, including school repetitions and copies.
Lionello Puppi inThe Complete Paintings of Canaletto. New York, 1968, p. 111, no. 237C, calls the dating uncertain but possibly close to the versions in the Royal Collection and the Neave collection, Artramont, i.e., 1744.
Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972, pp. 42, 493, 609.
Federico Zeri with the assistance of Elizabeth E. Gardner. Italian Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Venetian School. New York, 1973, p. 14, pl. 13, propose a date about 1740.
W. G. Constable. Canaletto: Giovanni Antonio Canal, 1697–1768. Ed. J. G. Links. 2nd ed. Oxford, 1976, vol. 2, p. 271, no. 175.
André Corboz. Canaletto: una Venezia immaginaria. Milan, 1985, vol. 2, p. 656, no. P334, as "Ingresso al Canal Grande verso est".
Colnaghi in America: A Survey to Commemorate the First Decade of Colnaghi New York. Ed. Nicholas H. J. Hall. New York, 1992, p. 131.
Deborah Krohn et al. inFrom El Greco to Cézanne: Masterpieces of European Painting from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Exh. cat., National Gallery Alexandros Soutzos Museum. Athens, 1992, p. 308, no. 32, ill. (color) [catalogue section unpaginated].
Andria Derstine inLa Serenissima: Eighteenth-Century Venetian Art from North American Collections. Exh. cat., Oklahoma City Museum of Art. Oklahoma City, 2010, pp. 109, 115 nn. 23, 25, pp. 124–25, 191, no. 35, ill. (color).
Peter Barnet and Wendy A. Stein inEarth, Sea, and Sky: Nature in Western Art; Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. [Tokyo], 2012, p. 192, ill. pp. 37, 194–95 (color, overall and detail).
Katharine Baetjer inEarth, Sea, and Sky: Nature in Western Art; Masterpieces from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. [Tokyo], 2012, p. 260, no. 125, ill. [Chinese ed., Hefei Shi, 2013, pp. 276–77, no. 125, ill. (color, overall and detail)].