(b. 1697, Venezia, d. 1768, Venezia)

Grand Canal: Looking South-East from the Campo Santa Sophia to the Rialto Bridge

c. 1756
Oil on canvas, 119 x 185 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

This is one of four paintings, executed for Sigmund Streit, a German merchant who lived in Venice and Padua, and dates from Canaletto's return to Italy. Streit made a gift of much of his property to his old school in Berlin, and in 1763 compiled a catalogue of it which includes a description of the four Canalettos. He noted that the Palazzo Foscari which dominates the scene at the left was his home in Venice, and proceeded to discuss it in some detail, pointing out which rooms he used as his study and office, as well drawing attention to the presence of the chimney-sweep on the roof. Streit also described the ferry which crossed the canal, and the toll office for fish at the extreme right. Details such as these would have been of greater interest to residents of Venice than to visitors; the same could be said of the Campo di Rialto, a centre of commerce, which was the subject of another painting in the same group.