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Capriccio with the ruins and gates of Portello in Padua - Antonio Canal (Canaletto). 61x76
The Venetian Antonio Canaletto began his career as a theater decorator, following the well-beaten father, also a theater artist, Bernardo Canal, road. It is known that the painter used the "pinhole camera" - an optical device that allowed very accurately capture various panoramic views. However, it is obvious that the initial theatrical practice developed in him a subtle sense of arranging space, a remarkable ability to use perspective.
The work of Canaletto made a splash, and wealthy travelers who wanted to preserve the memory of Serenissim, get an "export version of the Venetian myth," with his countless orders made him a rich man. However, neighboring cities in the area belonging to the Republic of Venice were also the subject of attention of the artist. From 1746 to 1756, the master lived and worked in England.
The term "capriccio" has become popular in Italy since the end of the 16th century. Contrasting themselves with the already established naturalism of caravagism, some artists advocated freedom of fantasy. Thus, in the aforementioned genre, a combination of a real and a fictional motive, bizarre ruins, a play of light and shadow, and sometimes fantastic images became possible.
Once upon a time Portello Gate served as an entrance to the city of Padua. Canaletto combines ancient and Gothic ruins, covering old buildings with a bush that has sprouted on them. So he deliberately links together natural motifs and artificial volumes of buildings. His favorite image appears in his art: the image of a majestic celestial space with moving clouds that are reflected in the flowing waters. Both landscapes, given and considered paired to him by “Capriccio with Ancient Ruins and Buildings”, were so popular that they were often copied.