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View of Venice: The Piazzetta Seen from the Riva degli Schiavoni, 1835-1845

Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot

French, 1796-1875
Oil on canvas
18-3/8 x 27 in. (46.7 x 68.6 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
F.1973.27.P
© 2012 The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot based this carefully executed view of Venice on studies made during his three-year stay in Italy in the mid-1830s. Although the work was completed in his studio after his return, Corot's magnificent attention to detail is flawless. The meticulous delineation of each stone, of each architectural element, and even of the costumes of the figures peppered throughout the piazzetta, is exceedingly precise. This technical achievement speaks to the influence of Corot's eighteenth-century predecessor, Canaletto, who was well known for his spectacularly detailed Venetian views, or vedute. Unusual in Corot's paintings, this fastidious approach to his subject provides an interesting comparison to the artist's more often lyrical and expressive works.

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