Grand Canal: the Rialto Bridge from the South
(Giovanni Antonio Canal (il Canaletto))


This picture is one of several views of the Rialto Bridge painted by Canaletto, this picture probably dating from the late 1730’s. The earliest view of the bridge is in the collection of the Earl of Leicester, the second in that of the Duke of Bedford. Our picture, formerly in the collection of the Earls of Craven, is the closest view of the bridge scan from the south with, on the left, the Palazzo dei dieci Savi (superintendents of taxes), with the top of the Palazzo dei Camerlenghi seen beyond and on the right, past the bridge, the Fondaco dei Tedescchi. It differs from the other compositions in the figures and the boats in the foreground, but like them, is lit from the top upper left. The highly detailed scene with shopkeepers, wig purchasers, gondoliers, the contrasting chiaroscuro, and the high key colours are typical of Canaletto’s Venetian views, which all share a very solid composition usually constructed from sketches drawn by the artist in his notebooks. A related drawing is in the Royal Collection at Windsor and a freely handled sketch no. 592 in Constable could have been a preliminary study.

53.5 x 70.5 cms
Oil on canvas

Earls of Craven, Combe Abbey
Hamstead Marshall, Berkshire, coll. Cornelia, Lady Craven (sold Sotheby’s 29th November 1961)
Private Collection, England


S. Kozakiewicz, Bernardo Bellotto, vol. II, Greenwich, 1972, p.434, Z, 185
L. Puppi, Tout L’oeuvre peint de Canaletto, Paris, 1975, no. 147a
W. G. Constable, Canaletto G A Canal 1697-1768, Oxford 1976, vol II, p.294, n.227
A. Corboz, Canaletto una Venezia immaginaria, Milan, 1985, p.260

Where is It?
Acquired by Dallas Museum
Historical Period
Rococo - 1720-1780
Capriccio: Architecture
Italian - Venetian
Price band
Sold or not available