About This Artwork

Italian, 1697-1768

Ale Porto del Dolo, 1735/43

Etching in black on ivory laid paper
295 x 431 mm (plate); 431 x 586 mm (sheet)

The Joseph Brooks Fair Collection, 1922.1381.15

Canaletto began his career painting Venetian landscapes and sold the majority of his works to Englishmen on their Grand Tours of Europe. In the 18th century, Venice saw a printmaking revival due to an increase in tourists. As the demand for prints grew, Canaletto turned to etching to satisfy the tourists’ needs for souvenirs. Ale porto del Dolo shows a passenger barge leaving its dock on a side canal with the campanile of San Rocco at Dolo in the distance. By varying the direction and intensity of his etched line, Canaletto obtained shimmering silver tones with contrasting blacks and whites, capturing this humble scene with convincing illumination.

Interpretive Resources

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