Treat yourself like a queen. Or better – like The Queen. Canaletto and his views of Venice will do.
In Netflix series The Crown queen Elizabeth II receives very important guests, mostly prime ministers, in one particular room of Buckingham Palace. The room is full of art but the most conspicuous painting is that of Venetian cityscape master.
Canaletto is so apparent in these scenes! His work is exposed on the easel always in the background behind the Queen. Therefore, every close-up shot of the character brings up the painting into a sharp focus as well.
It is difficult to say what painting is it, though. Is it view on the Molo with Doges Palace on the right and San Marco Tower in the background? Probably, yes.
Canaletto in Royal Collection
There is definitely one Canaletto artwork in the real Audience Chamber of the Buckingham Palace – Piazza San Marco Looking Towards San Geminiano (1723-24). But in the whole Royal Collection there are at least 50 paintings and 140 drawings of Venetian master.
Without a doubt, Canaletto is one of Her Majesty’s favourite artists. Actually, he was the favourite of the English royals for centuries. It started up when King George III bought the entire collection of Venetian art from Joseph Smith, including nearly 50 Canaletto’s paintings, 150 drawings, and 15 rare etching.
Ten years in England
The painter had a very close professional relationship with consul Smith who was not only his agent and patron but also a passage to British wealthy clientele. In fact, at the Smith’s prompting Canaletto came to London and stayed here for 10 years.
Consequently, he has strengthened his renown as the most famous artist of the Western world at that time. Over centuries he attracted quite a fandom. And Queen Elizabeth is a successor of the royal line of Canaletto’s followers.