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A Regatta on the Grand Canal

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Canaletto (aka Antonio Canaletto)
Venetian (Venice, 1697 - 1768, Venice) Primary

A Regatta on the Grand Canal

18th century
Oil on board

Bryn Mawr College
Accession Number: W.150
Other Number(s): Deanery.206 (Deanery Number)
Geography: Europe, Italy
Classification: Fine and Visual Arts; Paintings; Oil Paintings
Culture/Nationality: Italian
Collection: M. Carey Thomas Collection, Deanery Collection
Bryn Mawr College, Wyndham Alumnae House, 1st Floor

This painting depicts a regatta on the Grand Canal in Venice. The canal comes in on the right side of the painting and curves into the distance, its shores densely populated by buildings, docks, and boats. Several buildings have colorful fabric hanging from their balconies. One can see two gondoliers racing their gondolas down the center of the canal. Two larger boats with many rowers and elaborate decoration look on from either side. The landing on the right has several people standing on it, including a figure overlooking the scene from a low balcony. Four gondolas with rowers and well-dressed passengers are stopped near the landing in the foreground.

Landscapes of Venice, called vedute, meaning “views” in Italian, were popular in the 18th century and in the age before photography they served as souvenirs for travelers on the Grand Tour. Thus, there are many similar scenes painted by different artists, as well as the same artist. Similar scenes include: Luca Carlevaris’ Regatta on the Grand Canal in Honour of Frederick IV of Denmark (1709), Canaletto’s A Regatta on the Grand Canal (1733-1734), and Francesco Guardi’s A Regatta on the Grand Canal
(1777). We also know of at least four different versions of the scene by Canaletto. Canaletto’s 1773-1774 version is the most similar to the example in Bryn Mawr’s collection with only small differences such as the colors of banners and number of figures.

Bryn Mawr College, Wyndham Alumnae House, 1st Floor

Keywords Click a term to view the records with the same keyword
This object has the following keywords:
  • architecture
  • boats - Watercraft generally smaller and less seaworthy than ships and generally not designed to cross large open waters.
  • canals - Artificial navigable waterways.
  • cityscapes - Refers to creative works that depict settlements that may be considered cities, which are large or important communities with population, status, and internal complexity greater than most towns in the region. For creative works depicting towns, use "townscapes (representations)."
  • figures - Representations of humans, animals, or mythical beasts, in any medium.
  • gondolas - Long, narrow, flat-bottomed, bilaterally asymmetrical boats having a tall ornamental stem, propelled by a single sculling oar and used as water taxis along the canals of Venice.
  • oil paintings - Creative works in the medium of oil paint.
  • seascapes and water scenes

Additional Images Click an image to view a larger version
Additional Image W.150_BMC_f_2.jpg

Bibliography List
The following Bibliography exist for this object:

Comparanda List
The following Comparanda exist for this object:
  • Charles Beddington and Amanda Bradley. Venice: Canaletto and His Rivals (London, England: National Gallery, 2010), p. 83; 143. Figure Number: no. 17; 60
  • J. G. Links and Andrew Robison. The Glory of Venice (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1994), p. 225; 219-245. Figure Number: no.136

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<ref name=BMC>cite web |url= |title=A Regatta on the Grand Canal |author=Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections |accessdate=5/29/2022 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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