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    Sale 7632

    Old Master & British Pictures (Evening Sale)

    2 December 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 46

    Giovanni Antonio Canal, il Canaletto (Venice 1697-1768)

    The Grand Canal, Venice, looking north-west from the Ca' Corner to the Ca' Contarini degli Scrigni, with the campanile of Santa Maria della
    Carità

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Giovanni Antonio Canal, il Canaletto (Venice 1697-1768)
    The Grand Canal, Venice, looking north-west from the Ca' Corner to the Ca' Contarini degli Scrigni, with the campanile of Santa Maria della
    Carità
    oil on canvas
    18½ x 30¾ in. (47 x 78.2 cm.)


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    The Subject

    This view on the Grand Canal looking north west shows, from the right, the Palazzo Corner della Ca' Grande, designed by Jacopo Sansovino for Jacopo Cornaro after its predecessor was burnt in 1532, and the garden of the Casina delle Rose by the calle of that name; beyond this are the façades Ca' Maurizio and a modest house, followed by further houses and beyond the Rio di Santo Stefano by the Palazzetto Pisani (to the right of which is the Ca' Pisani), by Ca' Benzon Foscolo and the Palazzi Barbaro. Diagonally opposite this is the Campanile of Santa Maria della Carità, beyond which are the Ca' Querini, the Ca' Mocenigo-Gambara, and in the distance partly in shadow the Ca' Contarini degli Scrigni. The façades of the buildings on the left bank are in shadow. On the extreme left is the Ca' da Mula. Beyond this is the Ca' Barbarigo, and the Campo San Vio (the viewpoint of a series of masterpieces by the artist). Across the Rio San Vio, the first bay of its east façade caught in sunlight, is the Ca' Loredan (now Cini), followed by the Ca' Molin or Balbi-Venier, the Ca' Paradiso, the impressive Ca' Contarini del Zaffo and, just to the east of the campanile, the Ca' Brandolini-Rota.

    The Composition

    Constable, who catalogued this canvas as a 'version' of the related
    picture at Woburn, states that it differs from this 'mainly in the
    foreground boats, which include, left to right, a barge with an awning, a gondola, a small rowing-boat, another gondola and a sandalo.' He
    comments that the barge in front of the Ca' Corner 'is the same in both paintings.' All the other boats in the Brand picture are original to
    this. What Constable did not comment upon is the very assured way in
    which the topography is calibrated. Canaletto must have come to
    recognise that the campanile had been insufficiently dominant in the
    Woburn picture. The viewpoint is subtly changed by a degree or two, so that the campanile is perceptibly further from the left side of the
    composition and is now, correctly, shown as taller than the Palazzi
    Barbaro and the main block of the Ca' Pisani, set back from the Canal. In this respect it is the Brand, rather than the Bedford picture, that is closer to the sketches in the Accademia sketchbook (Constable,
    Sketchbooks, 14r, 12v, 13r, 11v, 12r, 10v and 11r, pl. 163) on which
    the composition was clearly based; and the authority of the Brand
    picture is decisively confirmed by the fact that this rather than that at Woburn, was engraved for the second part of Antonio Visentini's
    Prospectus Magnis Canalis Venetiarum.

    Like the view of the Libreria, this picture was a source of inspiration to Canaletto's nephew, Bernardo Bellotto. His variant (J.G. Links, A Supplement to W.G. Constable's Canaletto, London, 1998, pp. 20-1, no. 193, as Canaletto), first published in the catalogue of the sale in
    these Rooms, 3 July 1985, no. 60 as by Canaletto, was generally
    recognised as by the nephew in the early 1990s; Bellotto's drawing for the composition is in Darmstadt (Bleyl, no. 11). That picture is among the most accomplished of Bellotto's early repetitions of Canaletto compositions, executed at greater speed and with less refinement than
    the uncle's meticulously controlled prototypes, but with an
    admirable fluency. When Bellotto's canvas surfaced it was wrongly
    assumed that this rather than the as yet published Brand picture was
    the prototype of Visentini's engraving.

    Constable records two further variants of the composition: one from the collection of King William II of Holland and Count zu Weid, which he regarded as a 'School piece'; and another in the possession of Simon
    Towneley, his description of which suggests that the campanile is shown as in the Brand composition, and which may therefore have depended on
    this work, or on the print after this.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Evidently commissioned through Joseph Smith (c. 1674-1770) by Thomas
    Brand (c. 1717-1770), The Hoo, Kimpton, Hertfordshire; and by descent
    at The Hoo through his son, Thomas Brand (1749-1794), husband of Gertrude Roper, Baroness Dacre jure suae (d. 1819), to their son, Thomas,
    20th Baron Dacre (1774-1851).
    His younger brother, General Henry Otway Brand Trevor, 21st Baron Dacre (1777-1853), and by descent through his son, Thomas Crosbie William
    Trevor, 22nd Baron Dacre (1808-1860), at The Hoo circa 1938, and
    subsequently at Millcourt, Alton, Hampshire.


    Saleroom Notice

    Please note the following additional literature:
    B.A. Kowalczyk, in the exhibition catalogue, Bernardo Bellotto 1722-1780, English edition, Bernardo Bellotto and the Capitals of Europe, 2001, pp. 54 and 60.
    B.A. Kowalczyk, in the exhibition catalogue, Canaletto Il trionfo della veduta, Rome, 2005, p. 142, under no. 30, the Windsor drawing noting the dependence of the Visentini engraving on the picture.


    Pre-Lot Text

    Property of The Executors of the late Anthony, 6th Viscount Hampden of Glynde (lots 45 & 46)


    Literature

    W.G. Constable, Canaletto, Giovanni Antonio Canal, 1697-1768, Oxford, 1962, II, p. 265, no. 193(a), and pp. 199, 212 and 318; second edition, revised by J.G. Links, 1976, II, p. 280, no. 193(a), and pp. 203, 219 and 339.
    L. Puppi, L'opera completa del Canaletto, Milan, 1968, p. 98, no.
    89 B (dated after 1730-31).
    J.G. Links, Canaletto: The Complete Paintings, London, 1991, p. 34, under no. 93.
    C. Beddington, in the sale catalogue, Important Old Master Pictures, Christie's, London, 13 December 2000, pp. 262 and 264.