Lot 45
  • 45


100,000 - 150,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • The Campo dei Gesuiti, Venice
  • Pen and brown ink and brown and gray wash;inscribed in pen and brown ink below the pen borderline: Giesuiti in Venezia


Pierre Jean Mariette (L.2097);
his sale, Paris, Basan, 15 November 1775, part of lot 274 ('La Vue de la Place des Jésuites à Venise, où s'y voit lattéralement, ornée de plusiers figures à la plume, & lavée d'encre de la Chine'), to Randon de Boisset;
William Esdaile (L.2617),
his sale, London, Christie's, 19 June 1840, lot 451;
Dr. Henry Wellesley (L.1384);
his sale, London, Sotheby's, 25 June 1866, lot 684;
Thomas Poynder, Hartham Park, Chippenham, Wiltshire;
by descent to his nephew, Sir John Dickson-Poynder, later Lord Islington;
thence by descent;
sale, London, Christie's, 13 December 1984, lot 75,
where purchased by Jeffrey E Horvitz,
his sale, New York, Sotheby's, The Jeffrey E. Horvtiz Collection, 23 January 2008, lot 93,
where acquired by the present owner


Gainesville, Florida, Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, et al., Italian Old Master Drawings from the Collection of Jeffrey E. Horvitz, 1991-93, no. 31;
Moscow, The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, The Golden Age of Architectural Graphic Art Drawings by European Masters of the 18th -19th Centuries from the Sergei Tchoban Collection, 2010, no. 11;
Moscow, State Tretyakov Gallery, Only Italy! Architectural Graphic Art of the 18th-21st Centuries, 2014, p.72, no. 3


W.G. Constable and J.G. Links, Canaletto, Giovanni Antonio Canal 1697-1768, Oxford 1989, vol. II, p. 326, under no. 276;
K. Baetjer and J.G. Links, Canaletto, exhibition catalogue, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1989, p. 318, under cat. no. 106, note 2;
J.G. Links, A Supplement to W.G. Constable's Giovanni Antonio Canal 1697-1768, London 1997, p. 28, under no. 276 and p. 51, no. 603**, reproduced pl. 239

Catalogue Note

Constable and Links related this sheet to a painting by Canaletto of the same view, which is in a Milanese private collection.1  The painting shows a broader view of the Campo, and a canal in the foreground, but the viewpoint is identical and the painting retains the same vanishing point.  There are also minor differences in the staffage, and in the profile of the buildings to the left.  The painting, which was engraved by Antonio Visentini in 1742, is part of a series of twenty-one Venetian views of the same size and technique that Canaletto executed between 1730 and 1735.  They may have been bought in Venice by the last Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, and were later recorded in the collection of his nephew-in-law, Sir Robert Grenville Harvey of Langley Park, Slough.  On the latter's death in 1931 they passed to his trustees, and have since been dispersed.2 As Linda Wolk-Simon suggested in her entry in the Horvitz exhibition catalogue, it seems reasonable to date the present sheet to the same five-year period as the painting, although it remains unclear whether it is a drawing that Canaletto made in situ, or a variation of the central portion of his painted version of the scene. 

Highly finished drawings such as this, with their refined, precise pen work and painterly handling of wash, figure prominently in Canaletto's graphic work.  A view of a rustic courtyard in Padua, now in the Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin, is comparable to the present drawing.  The two works share the same characteristics of upright composition, receding perspective, and delicate use of wash to suggest light and shade.  Furthermore, the Berlin drawing is also inscribed by Canaletto in the margin below the drawn border, although there the artist is asserting his authorship, rather than identifying the view.3

The purpose of these finished sheets is debatable.  To a great extent, Canaletto's draughtsmanship was independent from his painted oeuvre, and finished drawings such as this were produced as views to be sold in their own right.4  At the same time, however, the artist also used his topographical drawings as an archive of views, so that wherever he happened to be working, he could easily produce a painted view of any city that he had visited, or construct a capriccio from various complementary but unrelated structures and motifs.5  

In the Mariette sale of 1775 this drawing was sold together with a similarly finished view of the Brenta Canal and the Porta Portello in Padua, which is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.6

1. Constable and Links, loc. cit.
2. Constable and Links, op. cit., p. 277
3. See K. Baetjer and J.G. Links, Literature, pp. 316-7, cat. no. 105
4. K.T. Parker, The Drawings of Antonio Canaletto in the Collection of his Majesty the King at Windsor Castle, London 1948, p. 25
5. See Gainesville, et al., p. 50
6. Constable and Links, op. cit., pp. 318-9, cat. no. 106