born Jan. 30, 1720, Venice [Italy]
died Oct. 17, 1780, Warsaw, Pol.
also called Canaletto
Belotto, or Canaletto The Younger vedute (“view”) painter of the
Venetian school known for his carefully drawn topographical
paintings of central Italian and eastern European cities.
Bellotto studied under his uncle,
Canaletto, and was himself known by that name when painting outside
Italy. Bellotto's urban scenes have the same carefully drawn realism
as his uncle's Venetian views but are marked by heavy shadows and
are darker and colder in tone and colour. The fidelity of his views
are in part attributable to the use of the camera obscura.
He painted scenes of Venice until
1742, when he left for Rome, and, after traveling in northern Italy
for a time, he permanently left the country and went to Munich in
1747. He became court painter to the elector Frederick Augustus II
and lived mostly in Dresden from 1747 to 1766. In 1767 he went to
St. Petersburg and was invited by Stanislaw II of Poland to come to
Warsaw and become his court painter. Bellotto's accurately detailed
views of the Polish capital were used after World War II to restore
the historic sections of the city.