Trained by his father as a painter of theatrical scenery, Canaletto gained international renown painting scenes of his native Venice. These vivid and compelling cityscapes were much sought after by British aristocrats who traveled to Italy on the Grand Tour. In this painting from the collection of the Earl of Rosebery, Mentmore, Canaletto depicts one of his most popular views of Venice––the Molo, a wharf just west of the Doge’s Palace. At the far right is the column of Saint Theodore, set before the ornate library, which is next to the Zecca (the mint where the Republic’s gold ducats, or zecchini, were coined) and the terracotta-colored public granaries. Across the water at the far left, marking the opening of the Grand Canal, is the church of Santa Maria della Salute. Canaletto imposes order and balance on the busy scene, observed from an ideally high viewpoint, omitting or adjusting architectural motifs and bringing them into alignment.
Adult: The Molo, Venice
Albert Edward Harry Meyer Archibald Primrose, 6th earl of Rosebery [1882-1974], Mentmore, Buckinghamshire, England, to 1955.
Sir Maurice Arthur Brian Jenks [b. 1933], (later 3rd baronet), Astbury Hall, Shropshire, England, 1955 to at least 1962.
(Galerie Les Tourettes S.A., Basel, Switzerland);
purchased through (Otto Wertheimer, Paris) by Kimbell Art Foundation, Fort Worth, 1969.