- Media category
- Materials used
- oil on canvas
- 67.5 x 119.0 cm stretcher; 85.0 x 136.0 x 9.0 cm frame
- Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
- Gift of James Fairfax AC 1996
- Grand Courts
- Accession number
- Artist information
Works in the collection
This view of Venice’s most famous square looks towards
the distant church of San Giorgio Maggiore. On the left
is the basilica of St Mark’s. From left to right the scene
also shows the Doge’s Palace, the columns supporting
the lion of Saint Mark and the statue of Saint Theodore,
the Sansovino library in deep shadow, the Loggetta and
Campanile and finally the Procuratie Nuove. Canaletto
distorts the perspective radically to show all of these
buildings as if from the same viewpoint.
The Italo-Byzantine architecture is a reminder of the
city’s long-held maritime connections with eastern
Europe, Africa and Asia. The piazza itself is a hive of
activity; aristocrats stroll, servants talk and market stalls
are visible. Canaletto painted the square several times,
doubtless because the site appealed to 18th-century
tourists in much the same way as it does today.
Shown in 4 exhibitions
The James Fairfax collection of old masters, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 Apr 1992–14 Jun 1992
The James Fairfax collection of old master paintings, drawings and prints, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 17 Apr 2003–20 Jul 2003
European Old Masters 16th-19th Century from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Hazelhurst Arts Centre, , 28 Sep 2017–03 Dec 2017
Grand Courts Collection Rehang, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Nov 2021–2025
Referenced in 14 publications
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales Annual Report 1996, Sydney, 1996, pp 8, 21, 52, col illus p 9.
Art Gallery of New South Wales, The James Fairfax collection of old masters, Sydney, 1992, np.
Richard Beresford and Peter Raissis, The James Fairfax collection of old master paintings, drawings and prints, Sydney, 2003, pp 48–53, no 10, col illus pp 46–47 (detail), 49. cat.no. 10, illustration on pages 46-47 are a detail
Richard Beresford, Look, 'Not only great art: fascinating stories discovered behind the works on show', Sydney, Apr 2003, pp 18–21: p 19, col illus (detail) p 19.
Edmund Capon, Great philanthropists on trial : the art of the bequest, 'The James Fairfax collection', Melbourne, 2006, pp 126–35: p 130.
W G Constable, Canaletto: Giovanni Antonio Canal 1697-1768, 2nd edition, reissued, Oxford, 1989, ol 2, p 207, no 49(c), p 727. Reprint of the 2nd revised edition published in 1976, now reissued with supplement and additional plates.
W G Constable, Canaletto: Giovanni Antonio Canal 1697-1768, Oxford, 1962, vol 2, p 202, no 49(c).
W G Constable, Canaletto: Giovanni Antonio Canal 1697-1768, 2nd edition, Oxford, 1976, vol 2, p 207, no 49(c). 2nd edition revised by J.G. Links.
Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Western Collection: Paintings and Sculpture', Sydney, 1999, pp 17–70: p 30, col illus p 30.
Bozena Anna Kowalczyk, Canaletto: il trionfo della veduta, Rome, 2005, pp 158, 166.
G.J. Links, A supplement to W.G. Constable's Canaletto: Giovanni Antonio Canal, 1697-1768, London, 1998, p 7, no 49(c).
Palazzo della ragione, Padua, Luca Carlevarijs: e la veduta veneziana del Settecento, Milan, 1994, p 29, illus p 28, fig 7.
Jill Sykes (Editor), Look, Sydney, Dec 2002-Jan 2003, col illus p 11.
Editor Unknown (Editor), Apollo, vol 107, no 193, London, Mar 1978, col illus adv p 23.
The provenance of this work is under review and records will be updated as new details become available. The Gallery welcomes any information. Contact email@example.com
H.J. Spiller, pre 13 Apr 1928, London/England, [frame dealer]
Arthur Tooth & Sons Ltd, 13 Apr 1928-04 Jun 1928, London/England, Purchased by Arthur Tooth & Sons from H.J. Spiller, 13 April 1928. Tooth stock no. 8433. Sold to Leggatt Bros., 4 June 1928.
Leggatt Bros., London, 04 Jun 1928-1939, London/England, [dealer] Purchased by Leggatt Bros. from Arthur Tooth & Sons, 4 June 1928. Leggatt Bros. business records pre 1945 have been destroyed (information from C. Leggatt)
Christie's London, 14 Apr 1978, London/England, lot no.32, 'Property of a gentleman' £90,000. Letter sent 8 April 2003 by Christie's London on behalf of the AGNSW to the UK address on their records of 1978 (no updated address available on system). June 2003 letter returned by post office 'addresse unknown'.
Colnaghi U.S.A., 1987, New York/New York/United States of America, Sold to James Fairfax 1987. Letters sent to Colnaghi's 17 October 2001, 15 May 2002 and 15 March 2003 asking for information on when and from whom they acquired the painting. No response.
James Oswald Fairfax AC, 1987-Jun 1996, Bowral/New South Wales/Australia, Gift of James Fairfax 1996. Purchased by James Fairfax from Colnaghi, New York 1987. On formal loan to AGNSW from February 1988 - June 1996.
Other works by Canaletto
See all 8 works