Capriccio of a Venetian Courtyard, Follower of Canaletto
On Google Art Project. Downloadable high-resolution version on Wikimedia Commons. Original is in the Yale Center for British Art.
This is a capriccio, or invented architectural scene, yet the details of daily life feel unerringly true, as does the play of sunlight against those few elements not in shadow.
Even though attributed to a “Follower of Canaletto”, and not the master himself, this kind of drawing just knocks me out. It’s simultaneously so loose and casual on one hand; and so precise and exacting on the other, that I just stare at it in amazement. (Of course, actual drawings by Canaletto elicit the same response, only more so.)
Ink and wash drawings like this, despite dealing with value in a way analogous to paintings, have a character of line that give them a unique visual appeal, unattainable in other media.
Eye Candy: Canaletto drawing
Canaletto — Guardi: The two masters of Venice