(b. 1697, Venezia, d. 1768, Venezia)
Entrance to the Grand Canal: Looking East1744
Oil on canvas, 127 x 203 cm
Royal Collection, Windsor
Scale appears to be the dominant preoccupation in this work. The painting is one of Canaletto's largest, and his intention seems to have been to convey a sense of the immensity of the church of Santa Maria della Salute, at the right.
In his earlier interpretation of the subject (c. 1725, Gemäldegalerie, Dresden) the artist included the whole of the great church, but in this work made the bold decision to crop it at the top, as though to imply that the building could not be contained within one picture. Its enormous size is contrasted with the groups of figures by the waterside: ladies and gentlemen enter the church through one doorway, while a senator, dressed in red, emerges from another.