About Elizabeth Harvey-Lee
Dealer in European Old Master prints; in 19th & 20th century European and British artists’ original prints; and representing a few contemporary etchers, Jeff Clarke; Brian Denyer-Baker; Bruno Gorlato & Reinder Homan.
Giovanni Antonio Canale
called Il Canaletto (Venice 1697–1768 Venice)
La Libreria V. (The Library, Venice)
14.5 x 21.2 cm
The plate signed and entitled.
On laid paper, narrower margins at the sides and foot. A little foxed
This print depicts the Renaisance Papal library, designed by Sansovino. A puppet show is taking place at the far end of the Piazzetta. It was purchased from a Canaletto exhibition at Colnaghi in 1944, & by descent.
Canaletto dominated topographical painting in Venice in the first half of the 18th century and his Vedute (views) were much collected by visiting British grand tourists.
This patronage led him to dedicate the first collected edition of his etchings, Vedute, published c1644, to his patron the British merchant Joseph Smith, who was appointed British Consul in Venice in 1744 and arranged for Canaletto to come to England in 1746.
Canaletto had taken up etching in the later 1730’s (and had abandoned the technique by 1746). His thirty-four plates, whether topographical or capriccio views, sparkle with Venetian light and are imbued with the essence of the Rococo.