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

The Piazzetta to the South

Royal Collection, Windsor

Canaletto's experience as a stage designer also manifests itself in other ways; during the 1720s, for instance, he made several rapid pen sketches in order to work out the composition of a painting just as if he were designing for the stage, using a typical diagonal shading technique also employed by the Bibiena and Juvarra. Perhaps it was above all Canaletto's theatrical background that enabled him to imbue a composition with the inimitable feeling for rhythm and harmony, and to choose exactly the right combination of 'reality' and 'visual imagination', which made him such a brilliant vedutista.