Friday, June 23, 2017
The Stonemason’s Yard by Canaletto, circa 1725
Instead of the polished urban vistas for which he is famous, this painting by the Venetian master of Enlightened views portrays a hardworking corner of the city where huge chunks of hewn stone show how Venice got built. Canaletto takes us behind the scenes of his city to expose the work that went into it. Beauty is born from the artisan’s sweat. Yet the scene is quiet, as if work has stopped, and Venice is no longer growing. It is now, in the 18th century, frozen and beginning to decline.
•National Gallery, London (Via the Guardian on line).
Take an 18th century Grand Tour courtest of the National Gallery: https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/learn-about-art/paintings-in-depth/the-grand-tour