BERNARDO BELLOT TO Venice 1722–1780 Warsaw
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BERNARDO BELLOT TO Venice 1722â€“1780 Warsaw
Venice, the Grand Canal looking south-west from the Rialto Bridge to the Palazzo Foscari THIS PAINTING IS FOR SALE
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BERNARDO BELLOTTO Venice 1722–1780 Warsaw
Venice, the Grand Canal looking south-west from the Rialto Bridge to the Palazzo Foscari Oil on canvas: 23 5/8 × 36 in / 60 × 91.4 cm Painted circa 1739 Provenance: Edmund Higginson (1802–1871), Saltmarshe Castle, Herefordshire; purchased from the above in 1860 by Col. the Hon. Edward Gordon DouglasPennant (1800–1886), later 1st Baron Penrhyn of Llandegai, Penrhyn Castle, Gwynedd; by descent until sold Sotheby’s London, 3rd December 1924, lot 59 (as by Canaletto), 460 gns to Agnew Thomas Agnew and Sons, London Alvan Fuller, Boston, MA Mr and Mrs RL Henderson, Boston, MA, from whom acquired by the father of a European private collector in 1977; by descent to his son Literature: WG Constable, Canaletto. Giovanni Antonio Canal 1697–1768, Oxford 1962 (and subsequent editions, 1976 and 1989, revised by JG Links), vol. II, p.292, no.219a (as ‘doubtfully by Canaletto’ and tentatively attributed to Bellotto) S Kozakiewicz, Bernardo Bellotto, London 1972, vol. II, pp.430–431, no.Z170 (as Studio of Canaletto, circa 1740) E Camesasca, L’Opera Completa del Bellotto, Milan 1974, p.121, no.291 (as attributed to Bellotto) D Succi, in D Succi (ed.), ‘Bernardo Bellotto nell ‘Atelier’ di Canaletto e la sua produzione giovanile a Castle Howard nello Yorkshire’, in Bernardo Bellotto detto il Canaletto, exhibition catalogue (Mirano, Barchessa di Villa Morosini), Venice 1999, pp.39–40, fig. 21 (as Bellotto) C Beddington, in BA Kowalczyk and M Da Cortà (ed.), Bernardo Bellotto 1722–1780, exhibition catalogue (Venice, Museo Correr; Houston, Museum of Fine Arts) (English language version edited by EP Bowron), 2001, p.78, under cat. no.11 and note 6 (as Bellotto) D Succi, in D Succi, A Delneri (ed.), ‘La Venecia del otro “Canaletto”: el joven Bernardo Bellotto’, in Canaletto. Una Venecia Imaginaria, exhibition catalogue (Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza), Madrid 2001, pp.70–71, fig. 11 (as Bellotto) (also published in Catalan language edition, Barcelona 2001)
To be included in the catalogue raisonné of the work of Bernardo Bellotto being prepared by Bożena Anna Kowalczyk This exquisite, animated view of Venice by Bernardo Bellotto depicts the central part of the Grand Canal, near the Rialto Bridge, hub of the city’s commercial activity. The angle from which it was painted, from the first steps of the eastern part of the Rialto Bridge, was chosen with care in order to focus on the volta del canal (bend in the canal), with the entire façade visible of the fifteenth century Palazzo Foscari, dominated by the distant bell tower of Santa Maria Dei Carmini by the Ticinese architect Giuseppe Sardi (1624–1699). A portion of the lateral staircase of the bridge can be seen on the left. The morning light illuminates the Fondamenta del Vin, with bustling workshops and busy figures. There, according to the laws of the Serenissima, boats for the transport of wine were docked. To the left, along the Riva del Ferro, traditionally dedicated to the commerce of metals, the shadowed façade of Palazzo Dolfin-Manin, designed by Jacopo Sansovino (1486–1570) in 1536, is recognizable, followed by the Gothic Palazzo Bembo, and further along, beyond the Fondamenta del Carbon – another mercantile area – the tall and imposing Palazzo Grimani, the last masterwork of Veronese architect Michele Sanmicheli (1484–1559). The wooden hut on the left was probably a lottery kiosk. Vessels of varying types, typical of the Venetian lagoon – sandali, gondolas and cargo boats with their sails lowered – crowd the waters of the canal. Images of an active and mercantile Venice enjoyed considerable success in British and Irish collections. In 1725 Giovanni Antonio Canal, known as Canaletto (1697–1768), painted this part of the city for the first time in the series of twelve views of the Grand Canal commissioned by Joseph Smith (circa 1664–1770), himself a merchant and the greatest patron and collector of the artist (The Royal Collection)1. A few years later, in approximately 1729, Canaletto used the same sketches for the sequence of palaces on the Grand Canal in the painting which hangs today in the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, with different boats and figures (fig. 1)2. This painting, sent to Ireland together with its pendant Entrance to the
Grand Canal, towards the west, with the Salute, was documented on 22nd August 1730, shortly after its creation, in the collection of Henry Howard, father of the first Earl of Wicklow3. In the second half of the 1730s and the beginning of the next decade, Canaletto executed other versions as well, destined for the English market4. Bernardo Bellotto, in this painting, follows Canaletto’s first composition, kept together with all of the Grand Canal series in the Venetian home of Joseph Smith, in the parish of Santi Apostoli, until its sale to King George III in 1762. The only significant differences are the enlarged space in the foreground and the form of the clouds. Consul Smith’s painting is representative of Canaletto’s youthful style in its dramatic quality, the strong contrasts in lighting and the blending of colour. Shortly after it was painted, the work was reproduced in an etching by Antonio Visentini and published, together with the entire series, in the celebrated Prospectus Magni Canalis Venetiarum, published for the first time in 1735 at Smith’s expense with the inclusion of two festival scenes painted in 1733–17345. Canaletto himself re-painted the skies of the twelve views of the Grand Canal – painted over a period of about six years of intense experimentation – to render the tones of light and colour more uniform. Bellotto paints a dramatic sky, traversed by large clouds, as Canaletto’s painting was originally, and as it appears in the print by Visentini (fig. 2)6. The date of this painting, circa 1739, is, in any case, certainly a post quem ending to the interventions on the skies.
Fig. 1. Canaletto, The Grand Canal looking south-west from the Rialto to Ca’ Foscari, circa 1729. Oil on canvas, 19 ½ x 29 in / 49.5 x 73.7 cm. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The Robert Lee Blaffer Memorial Collection, gift of Sarah Campbell Blaffer.
Until recently the painting shared its history with another view of Venice, The Molo, looking west (private collection), traditionally considered the pendant work, also a replica of Canaletto7. Both canvases, until WG Constable (1887–1976) first proposed the name of Bernardo Bellotto for the pendant, were considered to be works by the elder landscape painter. S Kozakiewicz (d. 1974), the eminent Polish scholar of Bellotto, considered only six Venetian scenes to be original works of the painter and published these two paintings amongst the attributed works8. The merit of these academics is to have initiated, with the first general catalogues, a systematic study of the two great landscape painters, but only the studies of the last ten years have brought into focus the numerous problems of attribution left unresolved, including the most fascinating one – the distinction between the Venetian landscapes of Bellotto and those of Canaletto. Bellotto’s Venetian landscapes were, in reality, quite numerous, as reported by the Veronese painter Pietro Guarienti, the first biographer of Bellotto and his colleague at the court of Dresden, ‘so diligent and naturally executed, that it is a great effort in understanding for those who wish to distinguish them from those of the uncle’9. They were also admired and commanded good prices, if in November 1741, Bellotto, not yet twenty and about to marry, was able to support himself ‘with his own work and his profession’, as well as his mother Fiorenza Canal, Canaletto’s sister and his brother Pietro Bellotti, later a painter in Nantes and Toulouse10. In 1739–1740 Bellotto painted fifteen canvases for the impressive collection of
Fig. 2. Antonio Visentini, Ex-Ponte Rivoalti ad Orientem, usque ad Aedes Foscarorum, cui respondet Ripa Vinaria. Etching. Prospectus Magni Canalis Venetiarum, 1735, no. I (or 1742, part I, no.I). The British Museum, London. © The Trustees of the British Museum.
Venetian landscapes at Castle Howard in Yorkshire, acquired by Henry Howard (1694–1758), 4th Earl of Carlisle11, with the advice and mediation of Anton Maria Zanetti the Elder (1680–1767), the Venetian antiquarian, collector, engraver and patron of Bellotto12. The four canvases still at the castle, as well as those now elsewhere, were until recently considered to be works by Canaletto. Of these, the pair of pendant works now in the Louvre, The entrance to the Grand Canal, looking east and The Rialto Bridge from the north (fig. 3), Bellotto’s most ambitious works for Castle Howard, are also replicas, with numerous variations, of the works of the same series made for Smith13. The confusion between the two names started early on. The first reliable documents which acknowledge the activities of the young Bellotto, notes of payment for four landscapes of Florence from 30th September 1740, recently rediscovered in the archives, indicate that at that date Bellotto already introduced himself as ‘Bernardo Canaletto’14. The two famous landscapes of Florence in the Museum of Budapest, already in 1741, just a few months after their creation, are given the name of the famous uncle in the inventory of the Florentine Marchese Vincenzo Riccardi15. As a pupil and assistant in the studio of Canaletto, where he began at a very young age, Bellotto quickly learned to prepare the sketches of perspective and figure studies for the works of Canaletto which he used for his own paintings as well. His first works as a painter, the choice of subject and composition, are strictly tied to those of Canaletto. Bellotto followed the contemporary work of his uncle, but was certainly fascinated by Canaletto’s paintings from the 1720s in the house of Smith. The study and copying of these works was a fundamental part of his apprenticeship and his first independent activity. In his own paintings he repeated eight of the twelve views of the Grand Canal, some twice, generally enlarging the dimensions, usually by about 4 ¾ in (12 cm) in height and width, as he does here, and sometimes more. In his first works, sketches and paintings, Bellotto demonstrates a strong adherence to the style and technique of Canaletto, but his interpretation is more incisive, the perspective delineated with precision, the description of the architecture observed in every detail. There are strong contrasts in lighting and the dark shadows are sharply delineated; the blend of colours is more dense and rich and the elongated figures personalised. Even if this diversity may have escaped contemporaries, in 1740 his style and technique already had a strongly marked character, as is demonstrated by the views dated with certainty – those of Florence (fig. 4), already stylistically independent from Canaletto, actually provided models for the work of the older Florentine landscape painter, Giuseppe Zocchi (1717–1767). A special commission must have been the impetus for the present painting, which intentionally, unlike any of Bellotto’s other copies of the same series, repeats every detail with precision, even to the depiction of the figures and the rich fabrics and colours of their clothing. Its singularity also lies in the fact that here Bellotto translates a youthful work of Canaletto with authority, undoubtedly compatible
Fig. 3. Bernardo Bellotto, The Rialto Bridge from the north, circa 1739. Oil on canvas, 46 ½ × 60 in / 118 × 152 cm. Musée du Louvre, Paris, donation Victor Lyon (R.f. 1961–32). © RMN – Grand Palais (muée du Louvre)/Franck Roux.
Fig. 4. Bernardo Bellotto, The Arno in Florence from the Vaga Loggia, 1740. Oil on canvas, 19 ½ × 29 ½ in / 50 × 75 cm. The Alfred Beit Foundation, Russborough House, County Wicklow, Ireland, on loan to the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin. Photograph © The National Gallery of Ireland.
with his poetics and muting the sharp contrast of lighting in the model in favour of a light which is warmer, defused, modern and realistic. His personality shows itself in the attention to every detail and every passage of light, in the peculiar, realistic tendency to reveal the contours of the shadows and the cracks in the walls, in the figures which are, in any case, personal, and in the rendering of the ripples of the water, characteristics found in other contemporary paintings. Before leaving Venice, Bellotto painted many more Venetian landscapes, as reported by Guarienti, increasingly accenting his tendency towards realism, his incisive technique, attention to the quality of the light and a predilection for the richness of materials. The beautiful landscape The entrance to the Grand Canal, with the Salute, from the Campo Santa Maria del Giglio, from a private collection (fig. 5), expresses the personality of this brilliant artist before his departure for northern Italy in 1744, but even this work was considered to be by Canaletto until its appearance on the antiques market in 199516. Dr Bożena Anna Kowalczyk
Fig. 5. Bernardo Bellotto, The entrance to the Grand Canal, with the Salute, from the Campo Santa Maria del Giglio, circa 1743. Oil on canvas, 28 ¼ × 38 in / 72 × 96.5 cm. Private collection; photograph © Richard Green Gallery, London.
1 WG Constable, Canaletto. Antonio Canal 1697–1768, Oxford 1962 (and subsequent editions, 1976 and 1989, revised by JG Links), vol. 1, pl.46, vol. 2, no.219; M Levey, The Later Italian Pictures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, 2nd edn., Cambridge 1991, pp.25–26, no.384. 2 WG Constable, Canaletto…op. cit.., vol. 1, pl.46, vol. 2, no.220; the pendant is vol. 1, pl. 37, vol. 2, no.166. 3 For the history of the pendants, see BA Kowalczyk, Canaletto prima maniera, exhibition catalogue (Venice, Fondazione Giorgio Cini), Milan 2001, p.202. 4 WG Constable, Canaletto…ibid., vol. 1, pls.46 and 198, vol. 2, nos.221–223. 5 WG Constable, Canaletto…ibid., vol. 1, 64 and 65, vol. 2, nos.335 and 347; M Levey, The Later Italian Pictures…op. cit., pp.34–35, no.396 and pp.35–36, no.397. 6 Antonio Visentini, Prospectus Magni Canalis Venetiarum, 1735, no. I (1742, part I, no. I). 7 WG Constable, Canaletto…ibid., vol. 2, no.95(b). 8 S Kozakiewicz, Bernardo Bellotto, London 1972, vol. 2, nos.Z50 and Z170. 9 P Orlandi, P Guarienti, Abecedario del M.R.P. Pellegrino Antonio Orlandi Bolognese : contenente le notizie de professori di pittura, scoltura ed architettura in questa edizione corretto e notabilmente di nuove notizie accresciuto da Pietro Guarienti, Venice 1753, p.101. 10 G Marini, ‘ “Con la propria industria e sua professione”. Nuovi documenti sulla giovinezza di Bellotto’, Verona illustrata, 1993, pp.125–140. 11 D Succi, ‘Breve e veridica storia della più importante collezione europea di vedute veneziane di Bellotto e di Marieschi nel XVIII secolo: Castle Howard’, in D Succi (ed.), Bernardo Bellotto detto il Canaletto, exhibition catalogue (Mirano, Barchessa di Villa Morosini), Venice 1999, pp.44–73. 12 BA Kowalczyk, ‘Bellotto and Zanetti in Florence’, The Burlington Magazine, CLIV, 1306 (2012), p.29. 13 WG Constable, Canaletto…ibid., vol. 1, pl.37, vol. 2, nos.171 and 236(d); BA Kowalczyk, ‘I Canaletto della National Gallery di Londra’, Arte Veneta, 53 (1998/II), pp.84–85, fig. 17 and 18. 14 BA Kowalczyk, Bellotto and Zanetti…op. cit., p.24. 15 BA Kowalczyk, Bellotto and Zanetti…ibid., p.29. 16 WG Constable, Canaletto…ibid., vol. 2, no. 180(a); Christie’s New York, 11th January 1995, lot 25; bought by Richard Green, London, from whom purchased by the present owner in 1997.
Bernardo Bellotto, Venice, the Grand Canal looking south-west from the Rialto Bridge to the Palazzo Foscari, c.1739. Oil on canvas: 23 5/8 × 36 in / 60 × 91.4 cm, in a carved and gilded Carlo Maratta frame. Framed size: 32 × 44 in / 81.3 × 111.7 cm.
NOTE ON PROVENANCE
This painting was in two major Victorian collections formed on the wealth of the Industrial Revolution. In the mid-nineteenth century it belonged to Edmund Higginson (1802–1871), whose family fortune derived from coal mining. In 1845 Higginson built the neo-gothic Saltmarshe Castle at Bromford, Herefordshire, filling it with a magnificent collection of Dutch, Italian and French Old Masters. He acquired works from the collections of Lucien Bonaparte, the Duchesse de Berri, William Beckford and Lord Northwick, among others. In 1860 Higginson sold Bellotto’s Grand Canal looking south-west, then attributed to Canaletto, to Col. the Hon. Edward Gordon Douglas-Pennant (1800–1886), who six years later became 1st Baron Penrhyn. Douglas-Pennant had inherited from his father-in-law, George Dawkins-Pennant, the vast Penrhyn slate quarries which supplied roofing for the burgeoning industrial towns. Dawkins-Pennant had commissioned Thomas Hopper to turn his eighteenth century gothick house, built round the core of a medieval manor house once owned by the Tudors, into the finest Norman Revival castle in Britain. Penrhyn Castle has a maze of twisting stairways and mighty chambers encrusted with stained glass; the State Bedroom boasts a ‘Norman-Jacobethan’ bed made of slate. The cream of Lord Penrhyn’s collection of paintings was displayed in the Dining Room, ‘a Gothic baronial hall of more conventional design’ than the heavily-panelled neo-Norman rooms1. Lord Penrhyn bought a number of works from the Higginson collection, either directly, or at the Saltmarshe sale at Christie’s in 1860, with the advice of his art advisor, the Belgian dealer CJ Nieuwenhuys. They included Canalettos of The Thames and Westminster from near the York Water Gate and two views of Piazza San Marco (one still at Penrhyn, the other in the collection of Dr Gustav Rau). The Grand Canal at the church of San Stae and The entrance to the Grand Canal and the Piazzetta, sold in 1924 and long attributed to Canaletto, are now ascribed to Bellotto (private collection, Europe). Another Bellotto, A view of Campo San Stin, remains at Penrhyn. Lord Penrhyn also owned a superb group of seventeenth century Dutch paintings, among them Jan Steen’s Burgher of Delft and his daughter (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam) and Rembrandt’s Portrait of Catherine Hoogsaet, bought from Edmund Higginson and still at Penrhyn Castle.
Penrhyn Castle, 1879. © Mary Evans Picture Library.
1 Christopher Hussey, English Country Houses: Late Georgian 1800–1840, Woodbridge 1988, p.192.
Biography of BERNARDO BELLOTTO
Bernardo Bellotto was born in Venice on 20th May 1722 in the parish of Santa Margherita. Nephew of Antonio Canal, known as Canaletto (1697–1768), he soon became his uncle’s pupil and valued assistant. In 1738 he enrolled in the Venetian painters’ guild. During his youth, on the wave of Canaletto’s success, he executed landscapes of Venice for an English clientele, also painting and drawing for Joseph Smith (c.1674–1770). But already in 1740, under the patronage of Anton Maria Zanetti the Elder (1680–1767), he was sought after by the Tuscan nobility and later, in 1744, by that of Lombardy, for whom he painted views of their cities and villas, as well as his first masterpieces, two views of Gazzada (Milan, Brera). In 1742–1743 he was in Rome, a journey documented by an ample series of paintings and drawings. In the summer of 1745 he received payments for his first royal commission, that of Carlo Emanuele III of Savoy (1701–1773) (Galleria Sabauda). Shortly thereafter he stopped in Verona, which he painted in a series of works, including two magnificent views of the Adige, now at Powis Castle, Welshpool, and in the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, again English commissions. On 5th November 1741 in Venice Bellotto married Elisabetta Pizzorno (c.1724– 1785), who accompanied him on his travels in central Europe, giving him nine children, only four of whom reached adulthood. Of these, Lorenzo (1742–1770) worked as his associate. After being called to the court of Dresden, he left Venice definitively in late spring of 1747. Named court painter in 1748, he produced for August III (1696–1763), King of Poland and Elector of Saxony, a magnificent series of fourteen panoramic views of Dresden which throw into relief the monuments of the Baroque city on the Elbe, and later, between 1753–1755, eleven of the town of Pirna, dominated by the fortress of Sonnenstein (Dresden, Gemäldegalerie). He made etchings of them and repeated them on the same scale for the prime minister, Heinrich Brühl (1700–1763) (Saint Petersburg, Hermitage; Moscow, Pushkin Museum; private collection). With the outbreak of the Seven Years’ War, in 1756–1758, Bellotto was in Königstein, where, on the orders of August III, he painted five views of the fortress, supreme masterworks of eighteenth century European painting (Washington DC, National Gallery of Art; Manchester City Art Gallery; England, private collection). He visited the courts of Empress Maria Theresa in Vienna (1759–1760) (a series of panoramic views of the city and city scenes; Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna) and that of Maximillian III Joseph in
Munich (1761) (Residentzmuseum). Bellotto’s return to Dresden in 1762 proved dramatic, his house having been destroyed by Prussian bombardment, together with a rich collection of paintings, prints, drawings, books and Meissen porcelain. His patrons, August III and Count Brühl, died a year later. His painting was now considered unfashionable, so he began to teach perspective in junior architectural classes and landscape painting at the Academy of Fine Arts, as well as painting copies of his own works and architectural capricci, including a well-known selfportrait dressed as a Venetian senator, three versions of which are known. In January 1767 Bellotto left for a six-month trip to Saint Petersburg, but stopped in Warsaw at the court of Stanislaw August Poniatowski (1732–1798), the last King of Poland, where he remained until his death on 17th November 1780, glorifying eighteenth century Warsaw in a series of twenty-six views (Royal Castle; National Museum) which are Polish national treasures and were valuable material for the reconstruction of the city after the Second World War.
Detail of Bernardo Bellotto, View of Dresden from the left bank of the Elbe below the Fortifications, 1747, with a self-portrait of the artist. Oil on canvas, 52 × 93 in / 132 × 236 cm. Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, inv. no. 602.
BERNARDO BELLOTTO Venezia 1722–1780 Varsavia
Il Canal Grande a Venezia: guardando sud-ovest, dal Ponte di Rialto a Ca’ Foscari Olio sul telo, 60 by 91,5 cm; 23 5/8 by 36 in Dipinto circa 1739
Questa bellissima, animata veduta di Venezia di Bernardo Bellotto rappresenta la parte centrale del Canal Grande, nelle vicinanze del ponte di Rialto, fulcro di attività commerciali della città. Il punto di ripresa, situato sui primi gradini della parte orientale del ponte di Rialto, è stato scelto con cura per focalizzare sulla volta del canal con l’intero prospetto del quattrocentesco palazzo Foscari, dominato dal lontano campanile di Santa Maria dei Carmini dell’architetto ticinese Giuseppe Sardi (1624–1699). Una parte della scalinata laterale del ponte è visibile a sinistra. La luce mattutina illumina la Fondamenta del Vin, brulicante di botteghe e di figurette indaffarate. Li, secondo le leggi della Serenissima, attraccavano barche destinate al trasporto del vino. A sinistra, lungo la Riva del Ferro, tradizionalmente dedita ai commerci di metalli, si distinguono, all’ombra, le facciate del palazzo Dolfin-Manin, progettato nel 1536 circa da Jacopo Sansovino (1486–1570), seguito dal gotico palazzo Bembo, e, più in fondo, oltre la Fondamenta del Carbon, un’altra zona mercantile, l’alto e possente palazzo Grimani, l’ultimo capolavoro dell’architetto veronese Michele Sanmicheli (1484–1559). La capanna di legno a sinistra era probabilmente un chiosco della lotteria. Imbarcazioni di vario genere, tipiche della laguna veneziana, i sandali, le gondole, barche da carico a vela abbassata, affollano l’acqua del canale. L’immagine di una Venezia mercantile e attiva ha avuto un notevole successo nel collezionismo britannico e irlandese. Nel 1725 Giovanni Antonio Canal, known as Canaletto (1697–1768), dipinge per la prima volta questa parte della città nella serie di dodici vedute del Canal Grande, commissionate da Joseph Smith (ca. 1664– 1770), mercante egli stesso e il più grande mecenate e collezionista dell’artista (The Royal Collection)1. Pochi anni più tardi, nel 1729 circa, Canaletto utilizza gli stessi disegni per la sequenza dei palazzi sul Canal Grande nella tela oggi al Houston
Museum of Fine Arts, con diverse imbarcazioni e figure (fig. 1)2. Questo dipinto, inviato in Irlanda, assieme al pendant, L’ ingresso al Canal Grande, verso ovest, con la Salute, poco dopo la sua realizzazione, è documentato il 22 agosto 1730 nella collezione di Henry Howard, padre del 1st Earl of Wicklow3. Nella seconda metà degli anni trenta e all’inizio del decennio successivo, Canaletto esegue altre ancora versioni, destinate al mercato inglese4. Bernardo Bellotto segue in questa tela la prima composizione di Canaletto, conservata, assieme a tutta la serie del Canal Grande nella casa veneziana di Joseph Smith, nella parrocchia di Santi Apostoli, fino alla vendita della collezione al re Giorgio III nel 1762. Le uniche differenze significative sono lo spazio aumentato del primo piano e la forma delle nuvole. Il dipinto del Console Smith è rappresentativo dello stile giovanile di Canaletto per l’intonazione drammatica, i forti contrasti luministici e gli impasti di colore. Poco dopo la sua realizzazione, esso è stato inciso ad acquaforte da Antonio Visentini e pubblicato, assieme a tutta la serie, nel celebre Prospectus Magni Canalis Venetiarum, edito per la prima volta nel 1735 a spese di Smith, con l’inclusione delle due scene delle feste, dipinte nel 1733–17345. Le dodici vedute del Canal Grande, eseguite nell’arco di circa sei anni, di intensa sperimentazione, sono state ridipinte da Canaletto stesso nei cieli, per rendere più uniforme il tono della luce e del colore. Bellotto dipinge un cielo drammatico, percorso da grandi nuvole, come era in origine e come si presenta nella stampa di Visentini (fig. 2)6. La data di questo dipinto, il 1739 circa, è dunque un sicuro termine post quem dell’intervento sui cieli. Fino ai tempi più recenti il dipinto ha condiviso la storia con un’altra veduta di Venezia, The Molo, looking west (private collection), tradizionalmente considerato il pendant, anch’esso una replica da Canaletto7. Ambedue le tele fino a W.G. Constable (1887–1976), che per primo avanza per il pendant il nome di Bernardo Bellotto, erano considerate autografe del più anziano vedutista. S. Kozakiewicz (m. 1974), autorevole studioso polacco di Bellotto, considera autografe dell’artista solo sei vedute veneziane e pubblica questi due dipinti tra le opere attribuite8. Il merito di questi studiosi è di aver dato inizio con i primi cataloghi generali a uno studio sistematico dei due grandi vedutisti ma solo gli studi degli ultimi due decenni hanno messo a fuoco numerosi problemi di attribuzione lasciati irrisolti, tra cui quello più affascinante, della distinzione delle vedute veneziane eseguite da Bellotto da quelle di Canaletto. Le vedute veneziane di Bellotto erano in realtà numerose, come afferma il pittore veronese Pietro Guarienti, il primo biografo di Bellotto e collega alla corte di Dresda, “così diligentemente e al naturale eseguite, che un grande intendimento ricercasi in chi vuole distinguerle da quelle del Zio”9. Erano anche apprezzate e ben pagate, se a novembre 1741, Bellotto, non ancora ventenne, in procinto di sposarsi, risulta mantenere “con la propria industria e sua professione” la madre Fiorenza Canal, la sorella di Canaletto e il fratello Pietro Bellotti, più tardi pittore a Nantes e a Tolosa10. Nel 1739–1740 Bellotto esegue quindici tele per l’imponente
collezione di vedute veneziane di Castle Howard, Yorkshire, formata da Henry Howard (1694–1758), 4th Earl of Carlisle11, con la consulenza e mediazione di Anton Maria Zanetti the Elder (1680–1767), antiquario, collezionista e incisore veneziano, mecenate di Bellotto12; le quattro, ancora rimaste nel castello, come quelle alienate, fino ai tempi recenti sono state considerate di Canaletto, tra queste la coppia di pendant ora al Museo di Louvre, The Entrance to the Grand Canal, looking east and The Rialto Bridge, from the nord (fig. 3), le opere più ambiziose di Bellotto per Castle Howard, anch’esse repliche, ma con numerose varianti, delle tele della stessa serie di Smith13. La confusione dei due nomi si è creata fin dall’inizio: i primi documenti sicuri che si conoscono dell’attività del giovane Bellotto, note dei pagamenti di quattro vedute di Firenze, del 30 settembre 1740, recentemente ritrovate negli archivi, indicano che Bellotto già a quella data si presenta come “Bernardo Canaletto”14; le due celebri vedute di Firenze del Museo di Budapest, già nel 1741, a pochi mesi dalla realizzazione, sono presenti con il nome famoso dello zio nell’inventario del marchese fiorentino Vincenzo Riccardi15. Allievo e assistente nell’atelier di Canaletto, in cui è entrato giovanissimo, Bellotto impara presto a preparare disegni di prospettive e studi di figure in funzione delle opere di Canaletto e che utilizza anche per i propri dipinti. La sua prima attività di pittore, la scelta dei soggetti e di composizioni, è strettamente legata con quella di Canaletto. Bellotto segue la produzione contemporanea dello zio, ma è certamente affascinato dai suoi dipinti degli anni venti, conservati a casa dello Smith. Lo studio e la replica di queste opere è la parte fondamentale del suo tirocinio e della prima attività indipendente: ripeterà nelle proprie tele otto delle dodici vedute del Canal Grande, alcune due volte, ampliandone di regola le dimensioni, per lo più di circa 12 cm in altezza e in larghezza, come qui, a volte ancora di più. Bellotto mostra fin dalle prime opere, i disegni e i dipinti, una grande aderenza allo stile e tecnica di Canaletto ma la sua interpretazione è più incisiva, le prospettive delineate con precisione, la descrizione delle architetture rileva ogni dettaglio, le luci sono fortemente contrastate e le ombre scure hanno netti contorni, gli impasti di colore sono più densi e corposi e le figure allungate del tutto personali. Anche se questa diversità poteva sfuggire ai contemporanei, nel 1740 il suo stile e la tecnica hanno già caratteri fortemente marcati come mostrano le vedute datate con certezza, quelle di Firenze (fig. 4), già stilisticamente indipendenti da Canaletto, modelli addirittura del più anziano vedutista fiorentino, Giuseppe Zocchi (1717– 1767). Una speciale commissione deve essere alla base di questo dipinto che intenzionalmente, come nessuna delle repliche della stessa serie, ripete con esattezza ogni dettaglio, anche le sagome delle figure dalla materia corposa e i colori delle loro vesti. La sua eccezionalità sta anche nel fatto che Bellotto traduce qui con maestria un lavoro giovanile di Canaletto, senz’altro congeniale alla sua poetica, attenuando i forti contrasti luministici del modello a favore di una luce più calda e diffusa, moderna e attuale. La sua personalità si rileva dall’attenzione a ogni
dettaglio e a ogni passaggio di luce, dalla peculiare, realistica tendenza a rilevare i contorni delle ombre e le screpolature dei muri, dalle figure comunque personali e dal modo di rendere le onde, caratteri che si rilevano in altri dipinti contemporanei. Prima di lasciare Venezia Bellotto dipinge ancora molte vedute veneziane, come afferma anche Guarienti, accentuando sempre di più la sua tendenza al realismo, la sua tecnica incisiva, l’attenzione agli aspetti luministici e la predilezione per la ricchezza della materia. La bellissima veduta The Entrance to the Grand Canal, with the Salute, from the Campo Santa Maria del Giglio, di collezione privata (fig. 5), esprime la personalità del brillante artista prima della partenza per l’Italia del nord nel 1744; ma anche questa è stata considerata di Canaletto fino alla sua apparizione nel mercato antiquario nel 199516. Dr Bożena Anna Kowalczyk
1 W.G. Constable, Canaletto. Antonio Canal 1697–1768, Oxford 1962 (ed edizioni successive, 1976 e 1989, riviste da J.G. Links), vol. I, tav. 46, vol. 2, n. 219; M. Levey, The Later Italian Pictures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, 2nda ed., Cambridge 1991, p. 25–26, n. 384; 2 W.G. Constable, Canaletto…cit., vol. 1, tav. 46, vol. 2, n. 220; il pendant è vol. 1, tav. 37, vol. 2, n. 166; 3 Per la storia dei due pendant, vedi anche B.A. Kowalczyk, Canaletto prima maniera, catalogo della mostra (Venezia, Fondazione Giorgio Cini), Milano 2001, p. 202; 4 W.G. Constable, Canaletto…cit., vol. 1, tav. 46 e 198, vol. 2, n. 221–223; 5 W.G. Constable, Canaletto… cit., vol. 1, 64 e 65, vol. 2, n. 335 e 347; M. Levey, The Later Italian Pictures…cit., p. 34–35, n. 396 e p. 35–36, n. 397; 6 Antonio Visentini, Prospectus Magni Canalis Venetiarum, 1735, n. I (1742, parte I, n. I); 7 W.G. Constable, Canaletto…cit., vol. 2, n. 95 (b); 8 S. Kozakiewicz, Bernardo Bellotto, Londra 1972, vol. 2, n. Z 50 e Z 170; 9 P. Orlandi, P. Guarienti, Abecedario del M.R.P. Pellegrino Antonio Orlandi Bolognese : contenente le notizie de professori di pittura, scoltura ed architettura in questa edizione corretto e notabilmente di nuove notizie accresciuto da Pietro Guarienti, Venezia 1753, p. 101; 10 G. Marini, “Con la propria industria e sua professione”. Nuovi documenti sulla giovinezza di Bellotto “Verona illustrata”, 1993, p. 125–140; 11 D. Succi, Breve e veridica storia della più importante collezione europea di vedute veneziane di Bellotto e di Marieschi nel XVIII secolo: Castle Howard, in D. Succi (ed.), Bernardo Bellotto detto il Canaletto, catalogo della mostra (Mirano, Barchessa di Villa Morosini), Venezia 1999, p. 44–73; 12 B.A. Kowalczyk, Bellotto and Zanetti in Florence, “The Burlington Magazine”, CLIV, 1306 (2012), p. 29; 13 W.G. Constable, Canaletto…, cit., vol. 1, tav. 37, vol. 2, n. 171 e 236 (d); B.A. Kowalczyk, I Canaletto della National Gallery di Londra, “Arte Veneta”, 53 (1998/II), p. 84–85, fig. 17 e 18; 14 B.A. Kowalczyk, Bellotto and Zanetti… cit., p. 24; 15 B.A. Kowalczyk, Bellotto and Zanetti… cit., p. 29; 16 W.G. Constable, Canaletto… cit., vol. 2, n. 180 (a); Christie’s, New York, 11 gennaio 1995, lotto 25; comprato da Richard Green, Londra, dal quale acquisito dall'attuale proprietario nel 1997.
TERMS & CONDITIONS
DEFINITIONS OF TERMS ‘Address’ the address to which both parties have agreed in writing the Work is to be delivered; ‘Agreement’ the agreement for the sale of the Work set out on the Invoice; ‘Buyer’ the person(s) named on the Invoice; ‘Delivery’ when the Work is received by Buyer or Buyer’s agent at the Address; ‘Invoice’ the sales invoice; ‘Invoice Address’ the address which Buyer has requested on the Invoice; ‘Local Taxes’ local import taxes and duties, and local sales and use taxes, including VAT where applicable; ‘Price’ the Invoice price of the Work; ‘Seller’ Richard Green (Fine Paintings) or Richard Green & Sons Limited; ‘Terms’ the terms and conditions of sale in this document which include any special terms agreed in writing between Buyer and Seller; ‘Third Party Payer’ shall have the meaning set out at clause 2.4; ‘VAT’ United Kingdom value added tax; and ‘Work’ the work or works of art detailed on the Invoice.
2. BASIS OF PURCHASE 2.1 The Terms shall govern the Agreement to the exclusion of any other terms and representations communicated to Buyer prior to entering into this Agreement and to Buyer’s own conditions (if any) and constitute the entire agreement and understanding of the parties in relation to the sale of the Work. 2.2 Delivery of the Work will be made following receipt by Seller of the Price in cleared funds. Buyer shall be responsible for all costs of Delivery. 2.3 Seller reserves the right to require Buyer to present such documents as Seller may require to confirm Buyer’s identity. 2.4 Where payment of the Price is made by someone other than Buyer (‘Third Party Payer’) Seller may require documents to confirm the identity of Third Party Payer and the relationship between Buyer and Third Party Payer. Seller may decline payments from Third Party Payers. 3. RISK TITLE AND INSURANCE 3.1 Seller shall deliver the Work to the Address. Risk of damage to or loss of the Work shall pass to Buyer on Delivery. Dates quoted for Delivery are approximate and Seller shall not be liable for delay. Time of Delivery shall not be of the essence. Buyer shall provide Seller with all information and documentation necessary to enable Delivery. 3.2 Notwithstanding Delivery and passing of risk, title in the Work shall not pass to Buyer until Seller (1) receives in cleared funds the Price and any ot her amount owed by Buyer in connection with the sale of the Work; and (2) is satisfied as to the identity of Buyer and any Third Party Payer and its relationship to Buyer. 3.3 If Buyer fails to accept delivery of the Work at the Address at the agreed time (1) Seller may charge Buyer for the reasonable costs of storage, insurance and re-delivery; (2) risk in the Work shall immediately pass to Buyer; and (3) Seller is irrevocably authorised by the Buyer to deposit the Work at the Address if delivery has not occurred within six months. 3.4 Seller is not responsible for any deterioration of the Work, howsoever occasioned, after risk in the Work has passed to Buyer. 3.5 Unless agreed in writing between the parties, responsibility for insurance of the Work passes to Buyer on Delivery and Buyer acknowledges that thereafter Seller shall not be responsible for insuring the Work. 4. PAYMENT 4.1 The Price shall be as stated on the Invoice. Payment shall be made in full by bank transfer or cheque and is received when Seller has cleared funds. 4.2 Full payment of the Price shall be made to Seller within 30 days of receipt of Invoice. Interest shall be payable on overdue amounts at the rate of 3% per annum above Royal Bank of Scotland Base Rate for Sterling.
4.3 Until full title to the Work has passed, Buyer shall not sell, export, dispose of, or part with possession of the Work. 4.4 Until full title to the Work has passed, Buyer shall hold the Work unencumbered as Seller’s fiduciary agent and bailee and shall: (1) keep the Work at Buyer’s premises separate from the property of Buyer and third parties and identified as Seller’s property and properly stored with adequate security measures; (2) keep the Work comprehensively insured for not less than the Price, have Seller’s interest noted on the policy and provide a copy of such notification to Seller; and (3) preserve the Work in an unaltered state, in particular not undertake any work whatsoever and shall take all reasonable steps to prevent any damage to or deterioration of the Work. 4.5 Until such time as full title to the Work has passed, if Buyer is in breach of clauses 4.3 or 4.4; or (1) Buyer (if it is more than one person, jointly and/or severally) shall enter into, and/or itself apply for, and/or call meetings of members and/or partners and/or creditors with a view to, one or more of a moratorium, interim order, administration, liquidation (of any kind, including provisional), bankruptcy (including appointment of an interim receiver), or composition and/or arrangement (whether under deed or otherwise) with creditors, and/or have any of its property subjected to one or more of appointment of a receiver (of any kind), enforcement of security, distress, or execution of a judgment (to include similar events under the laws of other countries);or (2) Seller reasonably apprehends that any of the events mentioned above is about to occur in relation to Buyer and notifies Buyer accordingly; or (3) Buyer does anything which may in any way adversely affect Seller’s title in the Work, then Seller or its agent may immediately repossess the Work and/or void the sale with or without notice and Buyer will return the Work to Seller’s nominated address (at Buyer’s sole risk and cost), or, at Seller’s option, Seller may enter the premises where the Work is kept to regain possession. 5. REPRESENTATION OF SELLER 5.1 Seller confirms that, to the best of its knowledge and belief, it has authority to sell the Work. 5.2 Buyer agrees that all liability of Seller and all rights of Buyer against Seller in relation to the Work howsoever arising and of whatever nature shall cease after the expiry of five years from Delivery. This paragraph does not prejudice Buyer’s statutory rights. 5.3 Notwithstanding anything in this Agreement to the contrary, Seller shall not be liable to Buyer for any loss of profits, loss of revenue, goodwill or for any indirect or consequential loss arising out of or in connection with this Agreement, whenever the same may arise, and Seller’s total and cumulative liability for losses whether for breach of contract, tort or otherwise and including liability for negligence (except in relation to (i) death or personal injury caused by Seller’s negligence or (ii) fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation by Seller) shall in no event exceed the Price. 5.4 All representations made by Seller as to the authenticity, attribution, description, date, age, provenance, title or condition of the Work constitute the Seller’s opinion only and are not warranted by Seller. Seller accepts no liability as a result of any changes in expert opinion or scholarship which may take place subsequent to entry into this Agreement. 6. COPYRIGHT All copyright in material relating to the Work vesting in Seller shall remain Seller’s. Seller reserves the right to exploit all such copyright. 7. EXPORT AND LOCAL TAXES 7.1 Where the Work is to be exported from the UK by Buyer, this Agreement is conditional on the granting of any requisite export licence or permission, which the parties shall use reasonable endeavours to obtain. 7.2 Where the Work is, or is to be exported from the European Union and VAT has not been charged because, by reason of such intended export, the Work is zero rated or not subject to VAT, both parties shall take all necessary steps to ensure that there is compliance with the time limits and formalities laid down by HM Revenue & Customs and that such documentation as is required, including any necessary proofs of export and Bills of Lading are fully and properly completed. Buyer shall indemnify Seller against any claims made against Seller for VAT or any other expenses or penalties
imposed by reason of Buyer’s failure to observe and comply with the formalities referred to herein. 7.3 Unless otherwise stated on the Invoice, Buyer shall be responsible for all Local Taxes. 8. GENERAL 8.1 Buyer shall not be entitled to the benefit of any set-off and sums payable to Seller shall be paid without any deduction whatsoever. In the event of non-payment Seller shall be entitled to obtain and enforce judgement without determination of any cross claim by Buyer. 8.2 Both parties agree that in entering into the Agreement neither party relies on, nor has any remedy in respect of, any statement, representation or warranty, negligently or innocently made to any person (whether party to this Agreement or not) other than as set out in the Agreement as a warranty. The only remedy for breach of any warranty shall be for breach of contract under the Agreement. Nothing in the Agreement shall operate to limit or exclude any liability for fraud. 8.3 The benefit of the Agreement and the rights thereunder shall not be assignable by Buyer. Seller may sub-contract its obligations. 8.4 Any notice in connection with the Agreement shall be in writing and shall be delivered by hand or by post to Seller’s registered office at the time of posting or to Buyer to the Invoice Address, and shall be deemed delivered on delivery if by hand or on the third day after posting if posted. 8.5 In the case of a consumer contract within the meaning of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, these conditions shall not apply to the extent that they would be rendered void or unenforceable by virtue of the provisions thereof. 8.6 No amendment, modification, waiver of or variation to the Invoice or the Agreement shall be binding unless agreed in writing and signed by an authorised representative of Buyer and Seller. 8.7 Neither Seller nor Buyer intends the terms of the Agreement to be enforceable by a third party pursuant to the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999. 8.8 The Agreement and all rights and obligations of Seller and Buyer under it shall be governed by English Law in every particular and, subject always to the prior application of the arbitration provisions set out in clause 9, both parties agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts. 9. ARBITRATION 9.1 All claims and disputes relating to, or in connection with, the Agreement are to be referred to a single arbitrator in London pursuant to the Arbitration Act 1996. In the event that the parties cannot agree upon an arbitrator either party may apply to the President of the Law Society of England and Wales for the time being to appoint as arbitrator a Queen’s Counsel of not less than 5 years standing. The decision of the arbitrator shall be final and binding. 9.2 Save that Buyer acknowledges Seller’s right to seek, and the power of the High Court to grant interim relief, no action shall be brought in relation to any claim or dispute until the arbitrator has conducted an arbitration and made his award. March 2006
“Richard Green” is a registered trade mark of Richard Green Old Master Paintings Ltd in the EU, the USA and other countries. Asking prices are current at time of going to press – Richard Green reserves the right to amend these prices in line with market values.
Richard Green has assisted in the formation and development of numerous private and public collections including the following:
UNITED KINGDOM Aberdeen: City Art Gallery Altrincham: Dunham Massey (NT) Barnard Castle: Bowes Museum Bedford: Cecil Higgins Museum Canterbury: Royal Museum and Art Gallery Cheltenham: Art Gallery and Museum Chester: The Grosvenor Museum Coventry: City Museum Dedham: Sir Alfred Munnings Art Museum Hampshire: County Museums Service Hull: Ferens Art Gallery Ipswich: Borough Council Museums and Galleries Leeds: Leeds City Art Gallery Lincoln: Usher Gallery Liskeard: Thorburn Museum London: Chiswick House (English Heritage) Department of the Environment The Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood The Museum of London National Maritime Museum National Portrait Gallery National Postal Museum Tate Britain The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum Lydiard Tregoze: Lydiard House Norwich: Castle Museum Plymouth: City Museum and Art Gallery Richmond: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and Orleans House Gallery St Helier: States of Jersey (Office) Southsea: Royal Marine Museum Stirling: Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum York: York City Art Gallery
CANADA Fredericton: Beaverbrook Art Gallery Ottawa: The National Gallery of Canada UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Boston, MA: Museum of Fine Arts Cincinnati, OH: Art Museum Gainesville, FL: Harn Museum of Art Houston, TX: Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation Los Angeles, CA: J Paul Getty Museum New Haven, CT: Yale Center for British Art New York, NY: Dahesh Museum Ocala, FL: The Appleton Museum of Art Omaha, NE: Joslyn Art Museum Pasadena, CA: Norton Simon Museum Rochester, NY: Genessee County Museum San Marino, CA: The Huntington Library St Louis, MO: Missouri Historical Society Sharon, MA: Kendall Whaling Museum Toledo, OH: Toledo Museum of Art Ventura County, CA: Maritime Museum Washington, DC: The National Gallery The White House Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Winona, MN: Minnesota Marine Art Museum Worcester, MA: Worcester Art Museum BELGIUM Antwerp: Maisons Rockox Courtrai: City Art Gallery DENMARK Tröense: Maritime Museum
IREL AND Dublin: National Gallery of Ireland FR ANCE Compiègne: Musée National du Château GERMANY Berlin: Staatliche Kunsthalle Darmstadt: Hessisches Landesmuseum Hannover: Niedersachsisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe: Staatliche Kunsthalle Speyer am Rhein: Historisches Museum der Pfalz HOLL AND Amsterdam: Joods Historisch Museum Rijksmuseum Utrecht: Centraal Museum SOUTH AFRICA Durban: Art Museum SPAIN Madrid: Real Academia de Bellas Artes de Sun Fernando Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza Museo Nacional del Prado SWITZERL AND Zurich: Schweizerisches Landesmuseum THAIL AND Bangkok: Museum of Contemporary Art
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Published on Apr 12, 2013
Bernardo Bellotto was born in Venice on 20th May 1722 in the parish of SantaMargherita. Nephew of Antonio Canal, known as Canaletto (1697–17...