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Canaletto (Venice 1697-Venice 1768)

Venice: Campo Santa Maria Formosa c.1735-40

RCIN 907478

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The church of Santa Maria Formosa was founded in the seventh century on the site of a vision of a particularly beautiful Madonna; hence formosa, in the sense of ‘shapely’. The church has two façades, the main entrance out of sight in this view beyond the belltower, and a ponderous façade, seen here, added to the north transept at the start of the seventeenth century. Canaletto has taken a very wide-angle view from a first-floor window in the northern corner of the campo.