18th century Venetian landscape painters (part 1)
By the beginning of the XVIII century, the once powerful Venice had lost the significance of the political center of the Mediterranean, turning into a kind of pilgrimage center. Rich travelers from all over Europe came here to admire the beauties of the city. And everyone dreamed of taking away a picture, drawing or engraving depicting any corner of a beautiful city. No wonder the landscape was most popular among other genres.
“The population of Venice,” wrote the historian Monnier, “is a festive and idle crowd: poets and healers, hairdressers and money-lenders, singers, dancers … – everything that lives by pleasures or creates them.
Venice has seven theaters, two hundred constantly open cafes, countless casinos in which candles are lit only at two in the morning and in which the noblest gentlemen and ladies mix with a crowd of strangers … Five hundred visitors sit at tables in the afternoon in front of the cafe, and their conversation mixed with the sound of spoons that interfere with the sorbet. Cloaks of gray silk, blue silk, red silk, black silk, green camisoles trimmed with gold and trimmed with fur, purple robes, dressing gowns with stains, leopard couplings, paper fans, turbans, gold vestments, sultans and small female cocked hats, defiantly shifted to the ear. This is the population of the extravaganza, the eastern bazaar, the seaport, where all customs meet, where all dialects collide and coexist nearby. ”
The laboring people of Venice are factory workers, gondoliers, fishermen, movers, carriers. This environment in many respects nourished Venetian art, which had a broad folk basis. Gasparo Gozzi, brother of the famous playwright Carlo Gozzi, said that completely illiterate people painted beautiful views without any special knowledge. And here is the petition of artisans, joiners and masons, filed in 1741. They ask that on holidays, in the morning and in the afternoon, they be taught the Italian language and the rules of famous architects, as well as how to carry out drawings and accurate profiles.
In the XVIII century Venice, there were two areas of landscape painting: architectural and species, or vedutnoy. The most recognized was the Veduta landscape. In a literal translation, the word “Veduta” means “view.” Two types were distinguished. “Exact Veduta” developed as a continuation of the urban landscape, common in the 17th century Holland. This kind of painting was done by such artists as L. Karlevaris, B. Belotto. For the most faithful transmission of perspective, they used an optical camera. The Venetian Algarotti as follows describes her device: “Using glass lenses and a mirror, the device moves the image of the object and gives an image on a sheet of paper. This artificial eye is known as an optical camera. Since it allows only bright rays from the object to pass into focus, it gives an image of exceptional purity and strength. Nothing could be more pleasing to the eye and more useful than a picture made using this method. The outlines are precise, the perspective and chiaroscuro are amazingly realistic, while the color is vibrant and powerful. ”