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Canaletto Paperback – March 30, 1999
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From Library Journal
- Ellen Bates, New York
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic book. Crystal clear paintings and drawings. Lots of detailed information. As an art student, this was a tremendously helpful book with clear reproductions ... Read morePublished 17 months ago by savannah s
Canaletto has always been one of my favorite artists and it is a joy to have many of his paintings collected under one cover.Published 21 months ago by Glen V. Mcintyre
My only real complaint with this book is that I didn't buy the hardcover version and that Phaidon has now only the paperback edition availible for purchase, as is their approach to... Read morePublished on February 26, 2013 by Michael C. Walker