The Piazzetta, Venice, looking towards the Punta della Dogana oil on canvas 48 x 68.5cm (18 7/8 x 26 15/16in).
PROVENANCE: Private Collection, Milan
EXHIBITED: Padua, 25 September-26 December, 1994, Carlevarijs e la veduta veneziana del Settecento, no. 41
LITERATURE: D. Succi, Carlevarijs e la veduta veneziana del Settecento, exhibition catalogue (Padua, 1994) cat. no. 41
The present painting by Carlevarijs - who can be considered the founder of 18th Century Venetian vedutismo and the foremost influence on Canaletto's development - was first published in 1994 by Dario Succi, who dates it to circa 1710. Carlevarijs has opted here for a slightly unusual vista which allows for a theatrical, diagonal setting in which the varied architecture of the Piazza is juxtaposed with the opening of the square and the lagoon on the left. This particularly dramatic device was employed by the artist in two other works (see: Aldo Rizzi, Luca Carlevarijs (Venice, 1967), cat. 129 and 130, ill.). Ultimately this composition is derived, with slight differences, from Carlevarijs's Veduta della Piazzetta verso la Zecca, published in 1703 as one of the plates in a series of etchings entitled Le Fabriche, e Vedute di Venetia. Two of the figures, namely the one far left with his right arm outstretched, and the one to the left of the San Marco Column wearing a grey cape, are closely related to two drawings, now in the Salamon Collection, Milan (see: figs. 1 and 2). Although these drawings, which are highly finished and have inscriptions, were probably intended as models for the etchings, it was not unusual for the artist to incorporate some of them into his later painted compositions.