(b. 1697, Venezia, d. 1768, Venezia)
Bacino di San Marco (St Mark's Basin)1738-40
Oil on canvas, 125 x 204 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
This is one of Canaletto's most famous works and would be considered a masterpiece for its complexity and dimensions alone. Here Canaletto started to "dilate" space as if he were viewing it through a wide-angled lens. He obtained the panoramic effect by lowering the line of the horizon, something he was to repeat during his stay in England. Over half the canvas is taken up by the sky. This helps to increase the sense of solemn spectacle that the painting engenders.