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Image of 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

Bequest of M. Carey Thomas, President of Bryn Mawr College, 1894-1922

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

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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=1/27/2022 |publisher=Bryn Mawr College</ref>

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