The Wallace Collection

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Venice: a Regatta on the Grand Canal
  • Studio of Canaletto (1697 - 1768)
  • Venice: a Regatta on the Grand Canal
  • Italy
  • c. 1741 - 1760
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 58.7 x 93.3 cm
    Object size: 85 x 119.5 x 10 cm
  • P496
  • West Gallery I
Commentary
History
  • The colourful festivals were one of the principal tourist attractions in eighteenth-century Venice, and provided some of Canaletto’s most popular subject matter. The picture depicts one of the rowing races for one-oared gondolas which took place during the annual carnival. The course ran the length of the Grand Canal from the Motta di Sant’ Antonio (today the public gardens) to the Ponte della Croce and then back to the Volta di Canal, seen here. The winner was presented with coloured flags beneath the macchina, a temporary structure, here shown bearing the arms of Alvise Pisani (Doge 1735-41) on the extreme left of the canvas. The composition was engraved by Visentini in 1735, and at least six autograph and six studio versions are known. The picture is generally considered a studio replica and has been twinned with P500 since the late eighteenth century.