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Canaletto (Venice 1697-Venice 1768)

Venice: The entrance to the Arsenale c.1740-45

RCIN 907477

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The state shipyards of the Arsenale (from the Arabic darsinâ’a, ‘workshops’) were founded in the twelfth century, and by the sixteenth century occupied a fortified site of 46 hectares (115 acres) in the east of Venice, employing 16,000 men. The southern entrance seen here is flanked to the left by a pedestrian gateway, begun in 1460 and held to be the earliest Renaissance structure in the city, and to the right by the chapel of the Madonna dell’Arsenale, demolished in 1809. The wooden drawbridge was replaced by a fixed bridge in 1938.