Canal, Giovanni Antonio (Canaletto)
1697, Venice — 1768, Venice
Italian artist and engraver, master of urban landscape (vedute). He studied painting under his father Bernardo Canal, a theatrical artist. In 1719, he went to Rome, where he met Giovanni Paolo Panini, the famous master. Then he started painting his famous views of Venice, also he painted imaginary species called capriccio. His works were very successful among the British aristocrats who came to Venice; many of them were created in 1729–1735 by the order of the British Consul in Venice, a businessperson and collector Joseph Smith, who later became the main agent and patron of the artist. Eventually, Smith bought a large collection of works by Canaletto (about fifty paintings, one hundred and fifty drawings and fifteen rare engravings), which he sold to King George III of England in 1762. In 1746–1755, the artist worked in England, where he painted the sights of London. In 1755, he returned to Venice. In 1763, he was elected a member of the Venice Academy of Arts. He was a great master of etching.