(b. 1697, Venezia, d. 1768, Venezia)
Piazza San Marco: Looking South-West1755-59
Oil on canvas, 67,3 x 102 cm
Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford
Even in his later works Canaletto did not tire of ceaselessly experimenting and innovating. Here he shows a 'fish-eye' view of the Piazza San Marco, which may well have been plotted with the help of a lens. The distortion is such that we are allowed to see an impossibly wide panorama that stretches from the end of the Procuratie Vecchie at the right to the Palazzo Ducale and San Marco at the left.
It has been suggested that the artist was consciously displaying his ingenuity in such works (there is another important example in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art), in order to impress the Venetian Academy of Fine Art which he was seeking to join at the time.