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Bernardo Bellotto
1720-1780

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There are two world famous painters named "Canaletto", and who should not be mixed up.  The "second Canaletto" was Bernardo Bellotto, who lived 1720-1780, and who carried the same artist name as his 23 year older colleague, who was also his paternal uncle, patron and professional teacher. 

Bernado Bellotto was son of Fiorenza Canale, elder sister of Antonio Canale (the "first Canaletto") and Lorenzo Bellotto, of whom little is known.  Bernardo entered his uncle’s studio as an assistant around 1735. Three years later, probably with the help of his uncle, he was admitted to the Venetian Painters Guild, Fraglia [Brotherhood] and his independent career commenced with commissions for "views" [vedute] from Canaletto's great patron, the English Consul Smith, and Count Matthias von der Schulenburg. Between 1741 and 1742 Bellotto left for Rome, travelling via Florence (from where six views have been identified) and Lucca where he spent a few months before returning once more to Venice. Eighteen months later, in 1744, he departed for Lombardy and was based in Milan for perhaps as long as two years, making trips to Gazzada and Vaprio d'Adda. 

In 1747 Bernardo left Italy permanently and embarked on a spectacularly successful career as a view painter at the Courts of the Electors of Bavaria in Munich and Saxony in Dresden, where he became the highest paid artist in the Saxon court, and where he executed some of his greatest works. In 1768, he worked in Vienna and Munich.  
 
Austria 1964. Baroque Art. Bernardo Bellotto. Fragment of the painting "Delivery of the Message on the Victory at Kunersdorf". Austria 1973. Baroque Art. Bernardo Bellotto. Vienna Academy of Sciences Building. Monaco 1972. Baroque Art. Bernardo Bellotto. St. Marc Square, Venice.

Bellotto's use of the name Canaletto (which is how he is still generally known in Poland) was no doubt partly intended to open the doors of patrons who knew of his uncle's renown.  Because he signed many of his works done abroad with the signature “de Canaletto,” many of his paintings were mistakenly attributed to his famous uncle. Read more about his uncle, Canaletto, hereA good example is this Polish stamp "signed" B.B. Canaletto in the upper left corner, standing for Bernardo Bellotto Canaletto. As far as I am informed this is the only Canaletto stamp issued by Poland. 
 

Poland 1984. Baroque Art. Bernardo Bellotto. View of Vistula [Wisla] River in Warsaw.

  • Poland 1984.  View of Vistula [Wisla] River in Warsaw. 

Baroque Art. Bernardo Bellotto. Post card showing a panoramic view of Dresden, Germany.

Although his work was quite similar to that of his uncle Canaletto, it differed in his use of massed clouds, darker tones, and rich foliage.  An example of this is visible on this postcard from Dresden, picturing the right bank of the River Elbe, that flows through the city. The circular "stains" on the right side of the card come from the postmark on the backside.  

His meticulous images of Central European cities were extensively used in the reconstruction of historic buildings, most notably in war-damaged Dresden and Warsaw.  Bellotto died in Warsaw in 1780.  

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