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

Grand Canal: from Santa Maria della Carità to the Bacino di San Marco

Oil on canvas, 47,9 x 80 cm
Royal Collection, Windsor

In the central distance can be seen the dome of the Salute and the masts of a number of large ships moored in the Bacino, while at the right is the church of Santa Maria della Carità, which also features prominently in 'The Stonemason's Yard'. It was converted into the city's art gallery — the Accademia delle Belle Arti — in the nineteenth century. This view looks very different today because the foreground is dominated by the modern Accademia bridge and the bell tower no longer exists. The appearance of the impressive palace on the far side of the canal, the Palazzo Cavalli, has also been altered.

This painting is a good illustration of Canaletto's achievement as a subtle colourist; he has effectively contrasted the powder-blue sky with the green water and the tan and orange brickwork and roof-tiles. In addition he has created formal interest by carefully observing how the Scuola to the far right of the picture casts diagonal shadows across the façade of the church. This work was owned by Joseph Smith and while in his collection it was engraved by Visentini as part of the Prospectus Magni Canalis series of prints.