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Canaletto (1697-1768), byname Giovanni Antonio Canal, was a Venetian painter, etcher, and draughtsman known for his detailed views of Venice, London, and English country homes.  He began his career assisting his father, a theatrical scene painter. During his 1719 to 1720 visit to Rome, he made drawings of ancient monuments and modern buildings.  Upon his return to Venice, he focused on topographical painting and began his contact with the foreign patrons who would continue as his primary support throughout his career. Throughout the 1730s, he was consumed by fulfilling foreign demands for souvenir views of Venice. In 1763, he was elected to the Venetian Academy and appointed as prior of the Collegio dei Pittori.

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