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Canaletto (Venice 1697-Venice 1768)

Venice: The Campanile under repair c.1745

RCIN 907426

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The Campanile of San Marco, the highest point in Venice, was struck by lightning on 23 April 1745, damaging the north-east angle. Repair work was quickly carried out, and here Canaletto shows a workmen’s cradle suspended from scaffolding erected in the bell-storey. His inscription states: ‘On 23 April 1745, the day of St George the Knight, a thunderbolt struck the Campanile of San Marco’. The drawing is unusual in recording an actual event, and in depicting the Campanile in its correct, rather massive proportions.