St. Mark's and the Clock Tower, Venice, c. 1735-1737
oil on canvas
132.8 x 165.1 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 3718)
The son of a scene painter, Antonio Canal, called Canaletto, first worked in the theatre before turning to topographical painting. This particular view of the Piazza San Marco, with the basilica on the right, was from a set of four "vedute" (views) of Venice purchased by one of the artist's many foreign clients, William Holbech, for his country house in Warwickshire, England. With an international following, Canaletto counted among his patrons Joseph Smith, the British Consul in Venice, and King George III, who amassed a collection of almost fifty pictures by the artist.