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

Entrance to the Grand Canal: from the West End of the Molo

1735-40
Oil on canvas, 115 x 153 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

This is one of the relatively few works that Canaletto signed; he has inscribed the initials A.C.F. on the low wall in the foreground. They stand for Antonio Canal Fecit (Antonio Canal made this). Close to the inscription are various traders selling seafood, and beyond it, to the right, is a neat row of gondolas.

The Molo is the busy area of waterfront on the seaward side of the Piazzetta. From this section of it is possible to get a splendid view of the church of Santa Maria della Salute and the customs house on the far side of the Grand Canal. Further to the left can be seen Palladio's church of the Redentore, which dominates the Giudecca.