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

The Grand Canal near the Ponte del Rialto

c. 1725
Pen and brown ink with red and black chalk on paper
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

This drawing is a compositional sketch for the painting The Grand Canal near the Ponte di Rialto (1725, private collection). In this sketch the artist combined two views (from two preparatory drawings, now lost), creating an effect similar to that of a photograph produced by a wide-angle lens.

The sketch contains a lovely illustration of a comment that 'the sun shines' in Canaletto's paintings: at the spot in the right foreground where the sunlit mist in the final painting is brightly reflected in the water, the artist wrote the word 'sole' (sun).