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Chapter VII: Conclusion

Canaletto was one of the most influential Venetian artists of the eighteenth century. He sought to entertain his clients and to improve his compositions by creating spaces that were inspired by places that actually existed but were better than reality. Over the course of his career, he became more and more experimental with architectural structures, skewing and combining perspectives, and bringing diverse buildings and scenes together into one composition in an original way. He is most recognized for what making choices about what to include and not include within his countless drawings and paintings and for the imagination and inspiration that his compositions required. He served as a powerful advocate on behalf of Venice as he catered to Grand Tourists, who took his paintings back to their homes, and thus promoted interest and curiosity about his city. When he lived in England he took his art and style north with him, and also learned from and was influenced by British contemporaries. Though his style became somewhat formulaic in England as he painted works that appealed to the tastes of his patrons, he regained his dramatic and original style again after his return to Venice.  When he died of a fever on April 19, 1768, he left behind an outstanding legacy of beautiful masterworks and ingenuously inventive compositions.  Many other artists tried to equal his achievement and drew their inspiration from Venice and Italy, but no one reached the perfection of Canaletto’s views and capricci and no one has ever surpassed him as the great artist of the Venetian veduta.