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The Piazzetta, Looking toward the Clock Tower

by Giovanni Antonio Canaletto

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The Piazzetta, Looking toward the Clock Tower - Description

Giovanni Antonio Canaletto wasn't afraid to break the rules. While he was a landscape painter by trade, he was not afraid to rotate buildings, distort shading and otherwise take liberties with the physical landscape in order to create a pleasing painting. Giovanni Antonio Canaletto is best known for paintings that contain a definite perspective and vanishing point: Buildings, people, ships, everything tilts to this one point. By doing so, Canaletto creates images that seem to have no end, no backside, and keep marching inward. In this painting, The Piazzetta, Looking toward the Clock Tower, the arched doorways to the right is the most obvious beneficiary of this technique. The arches become smaller and smaller as they head to the back of the painting, seeming to recede before our eyes. The building on the left of the canvas also recedes to the back, except for the clock tower, which is slightly rotated so the viewer can still see the spire head on. Multiple figures dot the scene, including one figure in bright red, dominating the scene with her pointing to the left of the canvas. Other figures walk or sit or gather in groups. In the center of the painting, nearly at the back, is another small building with figures in front. Canaletto's perspective is so well-executed, the viewer will strain to make out the tiny figures, sure they will soon come into focus.

Painting Details

Artwork Name: The Piazzetta, Looking toward the Clock Tower

Original Artist: Giovanni Antonio Canaletto
Style: Rococo
Medium: 100% Hand-painted on Canvas
Shipping Cost: FREE
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