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Canaletto in Rome: “The Colosseum” and the “View of the Forum with the Basilica Maxentius and Constantine”


Canaletto, “The Colosseum”

Painting - Oil on Canvas (26 x 35cm) 1742-45 Borghese Gallery Rome

Canaletto, The Colosseum, Borghese Gallery in Rome in Italy
Canaletto, The Colosseum
This canvas is attributed to Canaletto, but experts still argue to ascribe the paternity between Canaletto and his nephew Bernardo Bellotto; in our opinion, it possesses all the qualities of the Canaletto style.

The quality of the perspective is that of the master with the ability to represent these tiny characters in just a few strokes of a brush with such precision as they seem perfectly drawn, which is typical of Canaletto's art.

They relax and rest in the sun: as in all Canaletto's paintings, everyday life is an integral part of the landscape.

The Colosseum, whose walls and interior are entirely overgrown, is abandoned and threatens to ruin.

Work to reinforce its facade has not yet been carried out.

Canaletto offers us a romantic painting of the Colosseum, a view imbued with poetry and melancholy.

Canaletto, “View of the Roman Forum with the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine and the Church of Santa Francesca Romana”

Canaletto, View of the Roman Forum with the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine and the Church of Santa Francesca Romana, Borghese Gallery in Rome
Canaletto, Roman Forum
Painting - Oil on Canvas (26 x 35cm)
1742-45 Borghese Gallery Rome


The authorship of this painting is also discussed by experts on whether he has it attributed to Canaletto or his nephew Bernardo Bellotto.

As with the canvas of the Colosseum, it seems to us that it is indeed a Canaletto given the mastery with which perspective was dealt with, in-depth, but which never moves away from us, one of the most significant elements of Canaletto's painting.

Here too, poetry and melancholy mingle in this setting that shows us the ruins of the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine.

Canaletto, View of the Roman Forum with the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine and the Church of Santa Francesca Romana, Borghese Gallery in Rome
Canaletto, Roman Forum
This was a Basilica of enormous dimensions for the time.

They begun to build it at the beginning of the fourth century by Emperor Constantine, the first Christian Roman emperor.

It is the same Constantine who decided to build the first church dedicated to St. Peter, at the present location of the Vatican.

The Basilica ruins are seen here from the Roman Forum, with the Colosseum at the bottom of the painting.

On the right stands the church of Santa Francesca Romana, St. Francis, and its imposing bell tower.

Paintings Grand Canal Balbi | Grand Canal Foscari | Rialto Bridge | Mendicanti | Saint-Mark | Piazzetta | Rome
Canaletto Life and Career | Paintings
Painters Tintoretto | Canaletto | Albrecht Dürer |
Art Painters | Music | Literature | Video | Pictures



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