Capriccio with the ruins and gates of Portello in Padua, Antonio Canal (Canaletto)
- Posted by Antonio Canaletto
- Museum: Academy Gallery (Venice)
- Year: 1750-1760
Overview of the painting :
Capriccio with the ruins and gates of Portello in Padua – Antonio Canal (Canaletto). 1750-1760. Oil on canvas. 61×76
The Venetian Antonio Canaletto began his creative journey with a theater decorator, following the beaten father, also a theater artist, Bernardo Canal, the road. It is known that the painter used a “camera-discour” – an optical device that made it possible to very accurately capture various panoramic views. However, it is obvious that the initial theater practice developed a subtle sense of arrangement of space in it, a wonderful ability to use the future.
The works of Canaletto made a splash, and wealthy travelers who wanted to preserve the memory of Serenissima, to receive an “export version of the Venetian myth”, made him a rich man with their countless orders. However, neighboring cities in the region belonging to the Republic of Venice were also the subject of attention of the artist. From 1746 to 1756, the master lived and worked in England.
The term “capriccho” has become popular in Italy since the end of the 16th century. Contrasting themselves to the already established naturalism of caravajism, some artists advocated freedom of fantasy. Thus, in the mentioned genre, a combination of real and fictitious motive, bizarre ruins, play of light and shadow, sometimes fantastic images became possible.
Once the gates of Portello served as the entrance to the city of Padua. Canaletto combines ancient and Gothic ruins, covering old buildings with shrubs that have grown on them. So it illusoryly connects together natural motifs and artificial volumes of buildings. A favorite image appears in his art: an image of a majestic heavenly space with running clouds that are reflected in flowing waters. Both landscapes, given and considered paired to him “Capriccio with antique ruins and buildings”, were so popular that they were often copied.