Giovanni Antonio Canal (1697 - 1768)
Italian painter, Canaletto (real name: Giovanni Antonio Canal) was born in Venice on October 28, 1697, and died there on April 19, 1768. He is known as for his sparkling views of Venice. Canaletto studied painting and perspective with his father, a scene designer in the high baroque tradition.
He took as his specialty the relatively new and rare form of painting, the city view (veduta). His principal patrons were English aristocrats on the Grand Tour, for whom his scenes were souvenirs of the sights of Venice. He went to England in 1746 after the War of the Austrian Succession had drastically curtailed the stream of English visitors to Venice. He painted many scenes of English landscapes and country houses before returning to Venice in 1755. Canaletto was elected to the Venice Academy in 1763, but the paintings of his later years were increasingly criticized for their facile manner and mechanical repetition of overly familiar themes. The atmospheric quality of his best works was an important influence on 19th-century landscape painting.