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Style of Bernardo Bellotto, A Caprice Landscape with Ruins

Key facts
Full title A Caprice Landscape with Ruins
Artist Style of Bernardo Bellotto
Artist dates 1722 - 1780
Date made 1740-1800
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 54 × 74.3 cm
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Lt.Col. J.H. Ollney, 1837
Inventory number NG135
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
A Caprice Landscape with Ruins
Style of Bernardo Bellotto

This is an imaginary scene – a caprice – inspired by buildings in Italian cities and the surrounding countryside. It shows ruins from the classical past alongside contemporary architecture. Dwarfed by a crumbling arched portico, a small group of figures – tourists and residents of the small town in the distance, perhaps – are captivated by the statue of a lion, a symbol of Venice. The church spires and bell towers of the small town pierce the hazy sky.

Views of imagined landscapes were popular during the eighteenth century. Canaletto and Guardi painted similar ones, but this work seems nearer to the style of Bellotto, who came from Venice and travelled extensively around the Italian peninsula, producing views of Rome, Florence and Verona. However, it is not of a high enough quality to be accepted as by this artist.

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