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

Riva degli Schiavoni: Looking East

Oil on canvas, 58,4 x 101,6 cm
Private collection

The compositions of this work and its companion picture (The Molo: Looking West, in the same collection) complement each other very effectively; they both show dominant buildings in the foreground to one side of the picture, from which the eye meanders both across the painting and into the distance. Their subjects are also complementary; they depict views of the waterfront on either side of the Molo, the seaward part of the Piazzetta. In this painting the view extends from the Doge's Palace right along the quay known as the Riva degli Schiavoni. Boats of all sizes throng the water, and Venetians are shown either in the lofty pursuit of trade and politics (a group of officials energe from the Doge's Palace), or the equally fascinating, although more down to earth business of begging and gossiping. The other painting shows the view from the Column of San Teodoro over towards Santa Maria della Salute on the far side of the Grand Canal.

These subjects became extremely popular and were rethought by Canaletto and his studio with small variations for a number of other clients. Canaletto executed related drawings which both he and his assistants could use as a guide when plotting these views.