I have never been to Woburn Abbey, so have never seen the astonishing collection of Canalettos which apparently hang triple-decked in the dining room and have now been lent to the Holburne Museum.

They are amazing in the way they document the experience of Venice, as the fourth Earl of Bedford did in the early 1730s.

Il Redentore:-

The tower of Sta Maria della Carita, which collapsed in March 1744:-

They are re-doing the roof on a building next to the Palazzo Moro-Lin:-

Shops on the Fondaco next to the Rialto Bridge:-

Alighting at the Palazzo Vendramin-Calergi:-

The piazza outside the Scuola di San Rocco:-

You end up, as one does, in the Piazza San Marco:-

It is a way of seeing and experiencing the different sestieri as an eighteenth-century grand tourist, documenting it with remarkable impassive curiosity and precision.


4 thoughts on “Canaletto

  1. Sue Stamp says:

    They are exquisite aren’t they, and over the years I took at least 5 groups of RA Friends for private tours of Woburn Abbey where we were able to view the Canalettos intimately. Always much appreciated as you can imagine!

  2. Richard Bram says:

    In just these little details that I see the 18th-C equivalent of street photography: depictions of the ordinary moments of daily life.

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