On the right is the village of Canonica d'Adda, northeast of Milan, and in the center is Vaprio with the Villa Melzi, where Leonardo da Vinci visited his pupil Francesco Melzi. On drawings made to record several different views, Bellotto noted that the present picture and its pendant were painted in 1744 for Count Simonetta in Milan. The companion piece shows the landscape from the opposite direction, and belongs to the Museo di Capodimonte in Naples.
conte Antonio Simonetta, Milan (from 1744); the Simonetta family, Milan; ?by descent to the Quintavalle family, Milan; marchese Zaccaria (sold to Heimann); [Jacob M. Heimann, New York, by 1935–39; sold to MMA]
Wiesbaden. Nassauisches Landesmuseum. "Italienische Malerei des 17. und 18. Jahrhunderts," 1935, no. 17 (lent anonymously).
Honolulu Academy of Arts. "Four Centuries of European Painting," December 8, 1949–January 29, 1950, no. 14.
Art Gallery of Toronto. "Fifty Paintings by Old Masters," April 21–May 21, 1950, no. 1.
Detroit Institute of Arts. "Thirty-Eight Great Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 2–28, 1951, no catalogue.
Art Gallery of Toronto. "Thirty-Eight Great Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," November 14–December 12, 1951, no catalogue.
City Art Museum of St. Louis. "Thirty-Eight Great Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," January 6–February 4, 1952, no catalogue.
Seattle Art Museum. "Thirty-Eight Great Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," March 1–June 30, 1952, no catalogue.
Baltimore Museum of Art. "Age of Elegance: The Rococo and Its Effect," April 25–June 14, 1959, no. 179.
Venice. Palazzo Ducale. "I vedutisti veneziani del Settecento," June 10–October 15, 1967, no. 90.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Venetian Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum," May 1–September 2, 1974, no catalogue.
Verona. Museo di Castelvecchio. "Bernardo Bellotto: Verona e le città europee," June 15–September 16, 1990, no. 13 (as "Vaprio e Canonica verso nord-ovest").
Venice. Museo del Settecento Veneziano-Ca' Rezzonico, Gallerie dell'Accademia and Palazzo Mocenigo. "Splendori del Settecento veneziano," May 26–July 30, 1995, no. 76 (as "Vaprio e Canonica verso Monasterolo").
Museo di Milano at Palazzo Morando. "La Milano del Giovin Signore: Le arti nel Settecento di Parini," December 14, 1999–April 12, 2000, no. 2.
Turin. Palazzo Bricherasio. "Canaletto e Bellotto: l'arte della veduta," March 14–June 15, 2008, no. 59.
Milan. Gallerie d’Italia. "Bellotto e Canaletto: lo stupore e la luce," November 25, 2016–March 5, 2017, no. 55 (as "Vaprio and Canonica on the Adda, looking North-West, Lombardy").
Hellmuth Allwill Fritzsche. Bernardo Bellotto gennant Canaletto. Burg b[ei]. M[agdeburg]., 1936, pp. 27, 106, 132, no. VG 22, connects this painting with a drawing in the Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt, inscribed "Copia dela Vedutta di Vaver e Cannonica del Sig. Bernardo Belotto detto il Canaletto per il Illmo Sig. Conte Simonetta l'anno 1744"; states that the picture and its pendant (formerly in the Crespi collection, Milan; now private collection, Rome) were painted in 1744 for Count Antonio Simonetta.
Harry B. Wehle. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Italian, Spanish, and Byzantine Paintings. New York, 1940, pp. 273–74, ill.
Louise Burroughs. "View of Vaprio d'Adda by Bellotto." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 35 (February 1940), pp. 32–34, ill.
Stanislaw Lorentz and Stefan Kozakiewicz. Bellotto a Varsavia. Venice, 1955, pp. 55, 64 n. 6, p.65.
Stanislaw Lorentz and Stefan Kozakiewicz. Bernardo Bellotto 1720–1780. Exh. cat., Walker Art Gallery. Liverpool, 1957, p. 25, under no. 30.
Rodolfo Pallucchini. La pittura veneziana del Settecento. Venice, 1960, p. 223, pl. 580.
Rodolfo Pallucchini. Vedute del Bellotto. Milan, 1961, p. 10, and mentioned under no. 3.
Stefan Kozakiewicz inBernardo Bellotto gennant Canaletto in Dresden und Warschau. Exh. cat., Albertinum. Dresden, 1963, pp. 70–71, under no. 70.
Pietro Zampetti. Letter to Theodore Rousseau. January 23, 1968, suggests that the figures in the foreground are by another hand.
Stefan Kozakiewicz. Bernardo Bellotto. Greenwich, Conn., 1972, vol. 1, pp. 41–42; vol. 2, pp. 59–60, no. 83, ill., suggests that the foreground figures, which are absent from the Darmstadt drawing and "painted in a style which bears no resemblance to Bellotto's," may be later additions by the painter Giovanni Battista Crossato, possibly portraits of members of Count Simonetta's family; adds that the tree to the extreme right of the composition, which does not correspond to the tree in Bellotto's drawing, is probably by the same later hand
Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972, pp. 24, 493, 607.
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, pp. 11–12, pl. 10.
Ettore Camesasca. L'opera completa del Bellotto. Milan, 1974, p. 93, no. 48, ill.
Mariolina Olivari inBernardo Bellotto: Verona e le città europee. Ed. Sergio Marinelli. Exh. cat., Museo di Castelvecchio, Verona. Milan, 1990, pp. 76–80, 84, no. 13, ill. (color, overall and detail), discusses Simonetta as a patron, and his ties to Vaprio d'Adda.
Sergio Marinelli inBernardo Bellotto: Verona e le città europee. Ed. Sergio Marinelli. Exh. cat., Museo di Castelvecchio, Verona. Milan, 1990, p. 40.
Sergio Marinelli. "Aggiornamenti su Bellotto." Arte veneta 44 (1993), p. 84.
Bozena Anna Kowalczkyk Trupiano inSplendori del Settecento veneziano. Ed. Giovanna Nepi Sciré and Giandomenico Romanelli. Exh. cat., Ca' Rezzonico, Venice. Milan, 1995, pp. 301, 310–11, no. 76, ill. (color), states that the foreground figures are clearly by another hand; notes that a third depiction of the site is known through a drawing in the Warsaw museum and two paintings (sale, Christie's, London, November 30, 1970, no. 100; sale, Christie's, London, December 13, 1991, no. 100 or 101); lists conte Melzi d'Eril as a former owner.
Mariolina Olivari inLa Milano del Giovin Signore: Le arti nel Settecento di Parini. Ed. Fernando Mazzocca and Alessandro Morandotti. Exh. cat., Museo di Milano at Palazzo Morando. Milan, 1999, pp. 217–18, no. 2, ill. p. 50 (color), describes the picture as the most "archaic" of Bellotto's five views of Vaprio; recognizes a second hand in the painting of the figures, the tree at right, and a portion of the sky
Charles Beddington inBernardo Bellotto and the Capitals of Europe. Ed. Edgar Peters Bowron. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New Haven, 2001, p. 24, observes that while the inscriptions on the Darmstadt drawings describe each as a "copy" after a painting, the drawings themselves have the appearance of being preparatory
Bozena Anna Kowalczyk inCanaletto e Bellotto: l'arte della veduta. Ed. Bozena Anna Kowalczyk. Exh. cat., Palazzo Bricherasio, Turin. Cinisello Balsamo (Milan), 2008, pp. 156, 162–63, 166, 168, no. 59, ill. (color), calls the drawing in Darmstadt a preparatory work.
John Marciari. Italian, Spanish, and French Paintings Before 1850 in the San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, 2015, p. 189 n. 1.
Bozena Anna Kowalczyk inBellotto and Canaletto: Wonder and Light. Ed. Bozena Anna Kowalczyk. Exh. cat., Gallerie d'Italia, Milan. Cinisello Balsamo, Milan, 2016, pp. 172–74, 180, 280, 289, no. 55, ill. (color) [Italian ed., "Bellotto e Canaletto: lo stupore e la luce"].
Vaprio d'Adda, a small town between Milan and Bergamo, is seen across the Adda river. In the center is the villa Melzi d'Eril. On the right, on the near side of the river, is the village of Canonica d'Adda. This painting has a pendant of the same site seen from a different viewpoint. Formerly in the collection of Mario Crespi, Milan, and later in a private collection, Rome, it is now in the Museo di Capodimonte, Naples. A drawing by Bellotto of this same view in the Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt (inv. no. AE 2215), is inscribed across the bottom: "Copia dela Veduta di Vaver e Canonica del Sigr: Bernardo Belloto deto: il Canaletto / per il Illo: Sigr: Conte Simonetta / l'anno 1744". A second drawing in the same museum (inv. no. AE 2216) corresponds to the pendant and bears an inscription that specifies "S. Ea il Sig. Cavaliere Antonio Simonetta".