Imaginary View of Venice (undivided plate)

Series/Portfolio: From Vedute (Views), series of thirty-three etchings

Artist: Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal) (Italian, Venice 1697–1768 Venice)

Date: 1741

Medium: Etching

Dimensions: Sheet: 11 13/16 x 17 3/16 in. (30 x 43.7 cm)

Classification: Prints

Credit Line: Purchase, Gift of Mary V.T. Eberstadt and Bequest of Gertrude Moira Flanagan, by exchange, 1973

Accession Number: 1973.634


Venice in the eighteenth century was the site of an extraordinary flourishing of print production, which reached its apogee in the years 1740–45. It was in these years that Canaletto, the great painter of views of Venice and also of England during his sojourn there, made approximately thirty etchings: thirteen large plates and seventeen smaller ones. The title plate to the series states that these are 'Views, some representing actual sites, others imaginary.' This is one of the imaginary views, reminiscent of Venice and the lagoon. For an unknown reason, Canaletto divided this plate down the middle, between the backs of the two central figures, soon after it was made. Fewer than ten impressions are known from the undivided plate. The date, 1741 in Roman numerals on the wall at the left, is the only one on any of Canaletto's prints.