Two previously unseen paintings by Giovanni Canaletto are to go on display to the public for the first time in New York, before being auctioned in London where they are expected to fetch £12m. The Telegraph reports that the paintings are currently a part of a world tour by the auction house Christie’s.
The paintings depict classic views of the Venice canals and are titled: Venice: The Mouth of the Grand Canal from the East; and The Molo, with the Piazzetta and the Doge’s Palace, from the Bacino. Experts have commented that the works are of the highest quality and were created at the peak of the artist’s career.
Francis Russell, the deputy chairman of Christie’s UK said: “Both pictures are of classic views which were inevitably in considerable demand with Canaletto’s patrons.”
“He had a genius for recalibrating his compositions, subtly varying his angles of vision and invariably completely revising both his boats and his figures. Previously unknown to scholars, these masterpieces exemplify Canaletto’s work at the height of his career.”
Giovanni Antonio Canal (1697-1768), better known as Canaletto, was born in Venice and is celebrated for his precise and atmospheric scenes of the city’s canals and buildings. He is considered to be a master of composition and was highly sought after with many patrons, particularly among English collectors.
The artist made several trips to England during his career, producing scenes of London and sites further afield such as Alnwick Castle and Warwick Castle. His earliest work such as The Stonemason’s Yard (1725), which hangs in the National Gallery in London, is considered to be his finest.
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