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Canaletto's views of the Thames

This pair was conceived to create the effect of a single panorama: the view could be enjoyed from the terrace of Somerset House. Canaletto doesn’t just describe London; he seems to put us in it. The London he describes is remarkably free of clichés: a contrast of commercial and fashionable life, of the old City and the new suburbs of Westminster. Commissioned by Joseph Smith and bought from him in 1762 by George III Cat. 235 & 236