Luca Carlevaris    Italian         1663-1729
SN 670 Oil on Canvas        About 1725

by Robert Anderson

    Carlevaris trained in Rome under Netherlandish artists and studied mathematics. In 1679 he moved to Venice where he virtually invented Venetian view painting. While Carlevaris was more than simply a view painter, much of his work was in this genre later made popular by Canaletto. In 1703 he published a portfolio of 104 views of Venice which was the most complete survey of the fabric of the city ever produced and which served

as a model for Venetian view painters throughout the 18th century. Carlevaris was the first to approach view painting with a new seriousness, his training as a mathematician being reflected in his rigorous perspective settings.

    Carlevaris was actively patronized by Venetians, unlike Canaletto. He was the choice to document the arrival of a famous English Lord, Charles Montagu, 4th Earl of manchester in 1772. The scene is rich in color and detail which not only documents an event but also accurately renders the many beauties of a lavishly decorated city. Carlevaris' other views, depicting regattas, and similar events, also convey something of the air and drama of Venice's grander spaces, such as canals, campi or the Piazza.
    There is no evidence that Canaletto ever studied with him, but the younger artist must have been influenced by Carlevaris' pictures and engravings.

    This landscape painting of Venice is of the Piazza San Marco from in front of the Church of San Marco. It includes the Campanile and looks toward the Piazzetta.

    We see in this painting a close up of the Campanile - a shop on it's right side and a balcony infron with three figures standing on it.. To the left we see the back of a stage on which actors are performing facing the Church of San Marco. There are many people pictured - men and women in brightly colored dresses and capes walking and conversing in small groups - a group of priests in the right foreground having a conference - two dogs in view - all add to the picture of a scene of everyday life in Venice.    

    Carlevaris' set of over 100 engraved views of the city of Venice, published in 1703, was the foundation on which Canaletto built his highly successful career.