Friday, October 15, 2010

Sights of London via Canaletto

When Canaletto, the painter who enamored British tourists with his paintings of Venice, came to London those familiar with his work were excited to see his portrayals of their beloved city.  Strangely enough, critics found Canaletto's depictions of London lackluster in comparison with his former works.  Oh well, I still this they're great, Signore Canal!  I enjoy the sights of London; even those that don't exist any more.  One of the wonderful things about Canaletto and his fellow city-scape painters is that we are transformed to the bustling city, even the parts we, in the 21st century, never got to know.  Here are some of the sights we do know, and how they look now.

The Thames and the City, 1747

Westminster Abbey with a procession of Knights of the Bath, by Canaletto, 1749

Westminster Bridge, 1746


  1. That is because London is a lackluster city aesthetically. Don't be mad at the artist for not idealizing your brown river and yellow sky.

  2. I have always adored Canaletto's paintings of London. These days, they are an archive of a city whose skyline is being devoured by the likes of a large ferris wheel and a concrete pickle.

  3. The paintings are absolutely gorgeous! Such talent and so precise!