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

Warwick Castle: the South Front

Oil on canvas, 75 x 120,5 cm
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

Canaletto made five paintings of Warwick Castle, more than he was to paint of any other English building. He was commissioned to depict the subject by its owner Francis Greville, Lord Brooke, who became Earl of Warwick in 1759. The dates of payments suggest that Canaletto journeyed at least twice to Warwick, in 1748-9 and 1752. This work, probably painted in London, seems to be related to the earlier visit.

The building is viewed from Castle Meadow, with the Castle Mound at the left and at the right a view of the town. On the River Avon in the foreground is a Venetian-style pleasure boat: this apparently incongruous detail may be explained by the fact that Lord Brooke had visited Venice and is known to have owned a decorated boat.