View of the Canal Grande with S. Maria Della Salute, Venice, ca. 1850
Oil on canvas, H. 0.37 m; W. 0.46 m
Signed lower right: Caffi
Provenance: Private collection, Italy
Caffi settled in Venice at eighteen to study at the Academy. He left for Rome in the 1830s but returned to Venice several times in the 1840s. He achieved his first great success with his view paintings of Venice and Rome when he took part in an exhibition on the Piazza del Popolo in Rome in 1844. In 1846, he exhibited in the Salon of Paris Carnevale sulla Piazetta; a nocturnal Venetian view with fireworks. He reproduced it several times to meet the art lovers’ demands. His short and eventful career also led him to Naples, London, Spain and in the Middle East.
There is another version of our View of the Canal Grande with S. Maria Della Salute, Venice, this time under the snow, dated from 1850 and kept at the Museo Civico Revoltella in Trieste.
Caffi’s urban views are rigorously constructed and perpetuate the Canaletto tradition. Their success is due to the delicacy of their colours, their meticulous details and their sometimes amazing light effects. In the present picture, Caffi’s chromatic sensibility can be seen in the warm tones of the facades which are reflected on the water.