In 1742 the great Venetian artist Giovanni Antonio Canal (1697-1768), better known as Canaletto, painted a series of five views of Rome.
It is thought that the paintings formed a special commission for Canaletto's great friend and patron Joseph Smith (1682-1770), who was the British Consul in Venice from 1744 to 1760. Their tall and narrow format suggests that the paintings were probably designed for a specific location.
In 1762 Smith sold his extensive collection of paintings (including the works by Canaletto), prints and drawings to King George III.
My name is David Lown and I am an art historian from Cambridge, England. Since 2001 I have lived in Italy, where I run private and
small-group walking tours
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