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11 September 2020

‘Antonio Canal, gen. Canaletto – The Dogana in Venice’ 2.10 Special Stamp

Austria: Old Masters — Antonio Canal, Canaletto “Die Dogana in Venedig”, 11 September 2020. Image from Post AG.

Technical Specifications:

Date of Issue: 11.09.2020
Quantity Printed: 150.000
Type of printing: Combination
Design: Kirsten Lubach
Printer: Jn. Enschedé Stamps B.V.

Giovanni Antonio Canal was one of the most important representatives of vedut painting. A detailed view of his hometown of Venice adorns the stamp from the series “Old Masters”, which has been refined with stitch printing.

Artist: Canaletto (1697–1768)

Title: La Punta della Dogana / The dogana in Venice
Date: between circa 1724 and circa 1730
Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions: Height: 46 cm (18.1 in); Width: 63.4 cm (24.9 in)
Collection: Kunsthistorisches Museum
Current location: Kabinett 13
Accession number: GG6331
The Dogana in Venice
Over the forecourt of the Dogana (customs office) at the mouth of the Grand Canal, the view goes to the island of La Giudecca with the church of Zitelle. Canaletto was at the height of his fame as Venice’s first vedute painter: topographically exact scenery, painterly staffage and a radiant, rococo-colored brightness combine to the image of Venice that art lovers appreciate so much from the 18th century to the present day.

Giovanni Antonio Canal (18 October 1697 – 19 April 1768), commonly known as Canaletto, was an Italian painter from the Republic of Venice, considered important member of the 18th-century Venetian school. Painter of city views or vedute, of Venice, Rome, and London, he also painted imaginary views (referred to as capricci), although the demarcation in his works between the real and the imaginary is never quite clearcut. He was further an important printmaker using the etching technique. In the period from 1746 to 1756 he worked in England where he painted many views of London and other sites including Warwick Castle and Alnwick Castle. He was highly successful in England, thanks to the British merchant and connoisseur Joseph “Consul” Smith, whose large collection of Canaletto’s works was sold to King George III in 1762.

Much of Canaletto’s early artwork was painted “from nature”, differing from the then customary practice of completing paintings in the studio. Some of his later works do revert to this custom, as suggested by the tendency for distant figures to be painted as blobs of colour – an effect possibly produced by using a camera obscura, which blurs farther-away objects – although research by art historians working for the Royal Collection in the United Kingdom has shown Canaletto almost never used a camera obscura.

However, his paintings are always notable for their accuracy: he recorded the seasonal submerging of Venice in water and ice.

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