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

Warwick Castle: the East Front

Oil on canvas, 73 x 122 cm
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham

This view was commissioned by Lord Brooke, and until relatively recently remained in Warwick Castle. Canaletto contrasts the towering medieval battlements with a view of a few of the houses in the town at the left. The brilliant blue sky seems to be based on his experience of a southern climate, rather than English conditions. The visitors, servants and dogs in the foreground, effectively provide anecdotal interest, while the bright colours of their clothes act as a foil for the dull stonework of the building.

Canaletto also made a companion picture for the painting (also in the Birmingham museum), which perfectly complements it, as a depiction of the same side of the castle from the interior lawn. He has filled this canvas, from left to right, with Guy's Tower, the Clock Tower over the entrance gate, and Caesar's Tower.