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489 artworks, 116 artists
The term “veduta” is the Italian word, which means “view”, and it refers to paintings depicting an everyday urban landscape. The origins of this genre were laid by the Flemish Paul Bril and the German Joseph Hantz the Younger, most of whose creative life was spent in Venice. Paintings, drawings and prints of the genre are characterized by careful detailing, full identity to nature and recognizability of the urban landscape.
In the 17th century, urban landscape was one of the favourite genres of a number of artists, including Pieter Saenredam, Jan van der Heyden, the Berkheide brothers. The revolutionary “View of Delft”, created with a camera obscura, was painted by Vermeer in 1660. Another Dutchman, Gaspar van Wittel, brought veduta fashion to Italy and became known as the artist of veduta esatta, the urban view that includes a water surface.
The art of Dutch painters, who accurately conveyed urban views, became a coveted purchase for the wealthy middle class. By the middle of the 18th century, Venice had become a recognized centre of veduta. Giovanni Antonio Canal, known as Canaletto, became the head of the Venetian Veduta school, his work was the standard for many generations of urban landscape masters. Among his students are talented painters Bernardo Bellotto, Francesco Guardi, Michele Marieschi. The artist, engraver and mathematician Luca Carlevaris made a great contribution to the development of veduta art.
Venetian views performed by Canaletto and Guardi were adored by young aristocrats who came to Venice to study or as tourists. Cappriccios were also in demand — fictional landscapes of grandiose ruins, created by the imagination of such masters as Joli, Marieschi, Panini and Piranesi. Such pictures were distributed around the world, introducing viewers to the new art direction. In Russia, Veduta paintings were also in demand: Fyodor Alekseev, who was nicknamed Russian Canaletto, as well as the painters Joseph Charlemagne, Mikhail Mikheev, Luigi Premazzi and Giacomo Quarenghi worked in this genre.