Friday, September 21, 2012

Canaletto — Guardi: The two masters of Venice

Canaletto ˜ Guardi: The two masters of Venice
“Veduta”, from the Italian for “view” is a subset of landscape painting and graphics in which the artist creates a reasonably accurate, usually large and detailed representation of a specific place. Most often the view is of a city that is remote and exotic to the intended audience for the works.

The genre reached a pinnacle of sorts in the 18th century, particularly in views of the astonishing and magical city of Venice as portrayed by Giovanni Antonio Canal, better known as Canaletto, and Francesco Guardi, whose works are less well known to contemporary audiences, but are also stunning.

These two masters of Venice are featured in a new exhibition by that name, Canaletto — Guardi: The two masters of Venice, at the Jacquemart-André Museum in Paris (my links are to the English language versions of the sites). The exhibition runs to 14 January 2013.

There is a dedicated website for the exhibition that includes six sections on the exhibition’s themes, each of which features several images that may be clicked on for versions that have mouse-over enlargement features (why they don’t just feature large images, I don’t know, these paintings are in the public domain).

It’s interesting to compare the views of Venice by these two artists, their similarities and differences, as well similar venduta by other artists in the show, and “capricci” or imaginary landscapes by the two main artists.

I’ve also linked below to some additional resources for images by Canaletto and Guardi, as well as my previous post on Canaletto which include additional image resources.

(images above: Giovanni Antonio Canal [Canaletto], top five, Francesco Guardi, bottom five)

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