The Campo di Rialto and S. Giacomo di Rialto, Venice, c. 1740-1760
oil on canvas
118.5 x 128.8 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 3693)
The view of the Campo di Rialto, the commercial hub of Venice, illustrates well Canaletto's fascination with linear perspective and the simple but visually satisfying convergence of line. For his Venetian views, the artist often created a grid on the canvas before adding the architecture and figures, both of which could be altered to suit his own sense of topographical accuracy, and ultimately, the illusion of space. Also evident in the picture is Canaletto's masterful handling of contrasting light and shadow, infusing the composition with a sense of the ephemeral.