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Colosseum - Antonio Canal (Canaletto). Canvas, oil
The Venetian master of landscape painting, the founder of a genre such as Veduta (an image of urban views), Canaletto most often painted his city. All the more valuable from time to time the views of other places and their monuments, including Rome, that arose in his work.
In this painting, with thoroughness, which met the requirements of the Enlightenment, the artist captured Coliseum - The ancient Roman amphitheater, built in the I century, in the era of Flavius. A huge dilapidated building occupies most of the work, being the main character in it.
This Veduta is a typical classic landscape in which the grandeur of ancient architecture is extolled. With his paintings, Canaletto is proud of the deeds of human hands. This rational approach to painting was characteristic of the XVIII century, when the mind was placed above all. The Italian art historian Giulio Carlo Argan wrote that on the canvases of this artist "space seen by the eyes of reason." But this canvas contains such rare features of the master of romanticism, it was not for nothing that the work was created at a time when many artists perceived the ancient ruins as something alive, which can be seen, for example, in the etchings of contemporary and countryman Canaletto Giovanni-Battista Piranesi.
The view of the history of ancient centuries as something very close was also in the spirit of the complex era of the Enlightenment. In the coliseum pictured here time has left its mysterious imprint, and everything around, even the air, is saturated with this mystery.