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Canaletto Paperback – March 30, 1999

4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Giovanni Antonio Canal (1697-1768), the painter extraordinaire of Venice who was known as Canaletto, is the subject of this exhibition catalog from a recent show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It brings together a wealth of paintings and drawings avidly collected in his day by the English aristocracy and, especially with regard to those assembled from the Royal Collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, generally unseen before in this country. The five short essays by noted authorities succeed in capturing many of the essentials of the artist, which are easily digested by the nonspecialist. The extensive catalog following the essays contains splendid color reproductions with descriptive text on each work covered. While the book may not change significantly what is known of Canaletto, it is the record of an important American museum show and of paintings that ought to be savored by a wide audience. A welcome addition to most art book collections.
- Ellen Bates, New York
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


'Mr Links writes with clarity and elegance ... Canaletto deserves to be read by everyone who loves Venice and Venetian art.' (The Spectator)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press; Reprint edition (March 30, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714838438
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714838434
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 1 x 11.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,363,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
J. G. Links is widely recognized as the reigning authority on the Venetian painter Canaletto. This masterful book is probably the most extensive study on the painter available in the English language. In addition to Links' very entertaining prose his book is filled with color plates of over 200 of Canaletto's paintings and sketches.
Little is known about Canaletto's life and Links does not try to read more into the few facts that do exist. He does try to piece together Canaletto's life by dating his many paintings. If you are a Canaletto enthusiast and want to know more about what inspired him and how he lived you will be disappointed. No one knows how or why this man became the greatest painter of "view paintings" of all time except that his father was a painter of theatre scenes and undoubtedly exposed the young Canaletto to his trade at an early age. Canaletto's nephew was Bernardo Bellotto, a man who at his very best could claim to be as good as his uncle. Whereas Bellotto painted mostly in Germany, Canaletto is most famous for his views of Venice. The shimmering reflections of the Grand Canal, the faded and peeling stucco sides of the palaces, the many boat plying the waterways, and finally the people of Venice are captured in the all- seeing eye of the "camera man" of the 18th century.
Canaletto's best patrons were the English who were overcome by Venice's beauty and Canaletto's ability to capture it on canvas. He made two trips to London and his works there of the newly built Westminister Bridge, the Thames, and the castles of the rich rival his works of his native city. Most of Canaletto'w works are on display in English museums or in private collections in that country.
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Format: Paperback
Canaletto, by J.G. Links follows the Phaidon tradition of delivering a beautiful book, full of detailed colour plates, for a fairly modest price. The pictures alone make the book worth purchasing.

Canaletto, a Venetian painter of the early 18th Century, moved from painting stage backdrops to gorgeous perspective views of his native town. If you have ever been to Venice you know that it has an achingly beautiful prospect around every corner. Canaletto reproduced these views artistically, with a keen eye for perspective, architectural detail and atmosphere. His paintings will leave you wanting to book the next flight to Italy. Phaidon does a wonderful job of reproducing his images, in full colour with plenty of detail plates. Canaletto's later work in London and his capriccios and ink drawings are also included. From a visual perspective this book is stunning.

It is, however, a little lacking when it comes to the text. It would seem that we only really know anything about Canaletto through his contacts with a couple of British middlemen , McSwiney and Smith, who engaged him to paint views of Venice for rich Englishman who had toured Venice. We are treated to numerous details about provenances and the lives of the British agents but precious little about Canaletto himself. His style is discussed largely in terms of technique - his use of perspective and the slight deviations he made from the real scenes. But a more in depth analysis of motivation and aesthetics never materializes. A final quibble would be the lack of a good map of Venice. A plan of Venice from 1729 is included, with labels in Italian but is mostly inadequate. The author assumes the reader is familiar with Venetian topology and rarely clarifies details of place.
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Format: Paperback
The authors attempt to reconstruct Canaletto’s life from fragments written by contemporaries. So expect some speculation in the commentary portion of the books. All of the books contain thoughts on each painting. And a few minor paintings and sketches are added to each book and not in the other book.

Comparing the quality of the photography and final printed picture is where these books significantly differ. Baker’s book is part of the Phaidon Colour Library series. While the size of the pictures are the same in both books, Baker’s are bright and detailed. But Links’ adds some sketches used to create the painting and some close-up details that the other books don’t provide.

Ross used other copies of some of the scenes and they are dark and dreary. That obscures many of the details. While his book is larger in size, it is due to larger margins and fonts. The largest book is JG Links.

I wanted to see the details of Venice in Canaletto’s time. That made JG Links’ book the hands down choice. If you want a catalog of Canaletto’s paintings in a handy size, then Baker has what you are looking for.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Scholarly book, beautiful paintings, but needs more color plates. I feel like this is probably the definitive Canaletto book, but I am also going to look for another book, that is ALL color plates, and no text! I would give it a 5 stars for the historical information, background, inclusion of sketches and drawings, &c. but I am dropping it a few stars due to the relative scarcity of the color plates. Boy, could Canaletto paint! BTW, there is a bit of Where's Waldo going on with a little white dog...he seems to appear in almost all of the paintings!
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