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Canaletto (Venice 1697-Venice 1768)

Venice: The Piazza from the Torre dell'Orologio c.1740

RCIN 907422

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Canaletto did not produce ‘photographic’ views of Venice. He manipulated the buildings and spaces of the city to produce idealised and sometimes playful versions of reality. The following three drawings are extreme examples of this artistic licence, encompassing views approaching 180°. No optical device would be capable of producing such images without extreme distortion, but Canaletto was able to control the perspectival effects to make the views seem natural.