Venice: Canaletto and His Rivals
OverviewView-painting in eighteenth-century Venice began with the emergence of Luca Carlevarijs and ended with the death of Francesco Guardi in 1793, followed by Napoleon's invasion and the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797. In between, a constellation of remarkable painters captured the city in dazzling pictures which are among the greatest achievements in eighteenth-century art. Canaletto may be the artist popularly associated with Venice, but he had many rivals who competed for commissions, often from foreigners whose patronage was to determine the later course of Venetian view-painting. All the major figures are represented here - Bellotto, Carlevarijs, Guardi, Joli, Marieschi and Vanvitelli - together with fascinating contemporaries such as Cimaroli and Tironi. Charles Beddington sets the scene with an overview of the artists then working in the city, and draws on the latest research and scholarship to illuminate the complex stylistic relationships between them. Succinct, lively biographies for each artist are followed by short introductions to the works, grouped chronologically by artist. Each painter saw the same topography with his own unique vision; this beautiful book demonstrates the varied responses to the cityscape, with its ever-changing light, as well as to its spectacles and ceremonies. It is published to accompany the exhibition at the National Gallery, London, 13 October 2010 - 16 January 2011 and at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, 20 February - 30 May 2011.
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