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

Dresden from the Left Bank of the Elbe, below the Fortifications

Oil on canvas, 135 x 238 cm
Gemäldegalerie, Dresden

The title now normally given to the painting is somewhat misleading, the painting's real subject is the new town on the opposite shore of the Elbe.

The view of the city occupies no more than a narrow strip of the painting; none of Bellotto's other Dresden vedute adheres so strongly to the horizontal. Broad stretches in the foreground are filled with incidental characters from farming life, with a cart, country folk resting and out walking, anglers and shepherds; the walls of the fortifications have been used to hang out the laundry to dry. Bellotto adopted several motifs from the Venetian landscape painter Francesco Zuccarelli, the cow shown here in the middleground among them.