The Prisons, before 1741
Italian, 1697 - 1768
etching on laid paper
43.4 x 57.2 cm; plate: 14.6 x 21.2 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 6641c)
The Ponte della Paglia linking the Molo to the Riva degli Schiavoni, with the Palazzo Ducale on the left, the prison in the centre, and the Palazzo Dandolo (later Hotel Danieli) on the right
Canaletto offers four different views around the Piazza San Marco: Jacopo Sansovino's Library across from the Doge's Palace; he Procuratie Nuove, around the corner from the Library, with the church of San Geminiano (destroyed in 1807); the Prisons immediately behind the Doge's Palace (and connected with it by the Bridge of Sighs) along the Riva degli Schiavoni; and finally the long wall of the Doge's Palace and the Piazzetta San Marco. In the fourth plate, a speaker reads a decree from atop the Piera del Bando (the announcement stone), a fragment from a Syrian porphyry column.