Mostly landscape and cityscape paintings. For a tag cloud of the painters see bottom of the page. Because the tag cloud allows only 45 names, all the painters are are included in the category list at bottom of the page.

Canaletto – Dulwich Picture Gallery DPG600. A View of Walton Bridge (1854)

Materials: oil on canvas. Dimensions: 48.8 x 76.7 cm. Acquistion date: 1917 (gift of Miss E. Murray Smith). Nr.: DPG600. Source:…

The bridge over the river Thames at Walton had been constructed four years before this painting, to a daringly high-tech design. A coach crosses it; a boat lowers its mast to pass underneath the span. Thomas Hollis, the Whig MP who ordered the painting, has himself included in the foreground, along with a friend, a servant and a dog. This is a portrait of a specific person and a specific place; Canaletto even inserts himself as the artist on the stool, faithfully recording what is in front of him. But Canaletto finds more in England than an efficient infrastructure. The dark green of the ground, the complex grey cloud-mass with evening light breaking across it; these subtly-observed effects convey exactly the smell of damp grass in the air during a changeable English summer. The atmosphere is heavy, but the touch is light and decorative, the paint forming tiny blobs and trails like Murano glass. The wooden bridge was built in 1750 by Samuel Dicker MP whose house is one of those on the opposite bank; it was replaced with a brick and stone bridge in 1780. According to an inscription on the reverse of the original canvas, DPG600 was painted in London in 1754 for Thomas Hollis, one of Canaletto’s last major English patrons. An early catalogue of the Hollis collection describes the foreground figures as Hollis himself, his friend Thomas Brand, his Italian servant, and his dog ‘Malta’. The subject was repeated in a painting and drawing (both at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven); these show a long, raised causeway leading to the bridge, which is omitted in DPG600 (

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