BELLOTTO, Bernardo
(b. 1720, Venezia, d. 1780, Warszawa)

View of Gazzada near Varese

Oil on canvas
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

This view and another (View of the Villa Cagnola at Gazzada near Varese) in the same museum have recently been restored and we can once again see the crystal transparency of the light.

One of the great Venetian view painters, Bellotto can be compared to Canaletto and Guardi. Canaletto's abstract poetry was dependent on a visual rediscovery of the historic landscape, while Guardi gave it a lyric vibrancy by means of atmospheric effects. Bellotto's views, however, present specific and impressive images of reality. He is thus the major representative of the objective view, obtained by the use of the camera obscura. Bellotto's purpose in utilizing the device was not to give a photographic order to things, nor to exalt their atmospheric emanations; his aim was rather to seek out the nature and inner truth of the landscape, whether urban, rural or marine. His intuition anticipated Romanticism.