Object Image

Venice: Piazza San Marco and the Colonnade of the Procuratie Nuove

We see the Piazza San Marco from just inside the colonnade of the Procuratie Nuove, which housed the procurators (or caretakers) of San Marco. Although painting one of Venice's most famous sights, Canaletto took liberties with the architecture to create a dramatic composition, enlarging the size of the archway and removing one of the pillars so we can see both the piazza and down the arcade.

In front of us, two men lean back against an archway, a dog sitting faithfully at their feet. Another, wearing a vivid green cloak and holding a cup and saucer, seems to be listening in on their conversation. Behind him is the famous coffee house, Caffè Florian - probably where his beverage comes from.


c. 1756
Oil on canvas
46.4 x 38.1cm
Image and text © The National Gallery, London, 2023

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