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  • Canaletto, who had primarily been known for his paintings, began to devote himself seriously to drawing and etching after the beginning of the War of Austrian Succession. By the time he moved to London, in 1746, his drawings were prized by collectors as works of art in their own right. Westminster Bridge, which can be seen in the left background, was one of Canaletto's favorite motifs during his time in London. Built between 1739 and 1750 (with construction delayed by the collapse of a pier in 1747), the bridge was in a much more advanced state of completion at the time Canaletto was in London than he indicates in this drawing. This inaccuracy hardly seems to matter, however. Throughout his career Canaletto had evinced an interest in portraying buildings and scenery at moments of change or accretion. Here, the uncompleted Westminster Bridge functions analogously to the fanciful ruins in his earlier Venetian works. The picturesque qualities of the foreground structures were clearly of equal interest to him. The massive wooden water tower, crowned with a finial, distributed water to outlying areas of London. York Watergate (the marble structure at the foot of the tower), fashioned to resemble a baroque temple, was the riverside entrance to the gardens of the demolished York House. In these forms, Canaletto found buildings that echoed the campaniles and canal-side churches of his native Venice.
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  • Canaletto, who had primarily been known for his paintings, began to devote himself seriously to drawing and etching after the beginning of the War of Austrian Succession. By the time he moved to London, in 1746, his drawings were prized by collectors as works of art in their own right. Westminster Bridge, which can be seen in the left background, was one of Canaletto's favorite motifs during his time in London. Built between 1739 and 1750 (with construction delayed by the collapse of a pier in 1747), the bridge was in a much more advanced state of completion at the time Canaletto was in London than he indicates in this drawing. This inaccuracy hardly seems to matter, however. Throughout his career Canaletto had evinced an interest in portraying buildings and scenery at moments of change or accretion. Here, the uncompleted Westminster Bridge functions analogously to the fanciful ruins in his earlier Venetian works. The picturesque qualities of the foreground structures were clearly of equal interest to him. The massive wooden water tower, crowned with a finial, distributed water to outlying areas of London. York Watergate (the marble structure at the foot of the tower), fashioned to resemble a baroque temple, was the riverside entrance to the gardens of the demolished York House. In these forms, Canaletto found buildings that echoed the campaniles and canal-side churches of his native Venice.
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  • Alternate title :: The Thames Looking towards Westminster from near the York Water Gate
  • Alternate title :: View on the Thames from York Stairs showing Westminster Bridge
  • Bibliograpic reference :: A loan exhibition of English drawings and watercolours from the collection of Mr and Mrs Paul Mellon of Upperville, Virginia, P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., London, 1964, cat. no. 7, pl. V, N5247.M385 L62 (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: English Drawings and Watercolours from the Mellon Collection, The Times (London), issue no. 56195, December 15, 1964, p. 6, Available online: The Times Digital Archive , Also available on Microfilm: Film An T482 (SML)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: John Baskett, Paul Mellon's legacy, a passion for British art : masterpieces from the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, p. 249, no. 17, pl. 17, N5220 M552 P38 2007 OVERSIZE (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: John Rich, The Stage's Glory, John Rich, 1692-1761, University of Delaware Press, 2011, pp. 248-49, fig. 15.5, PN2598.R4575 S73 2011 + Oversize (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Rozena Anna Kowalczyk, Canaletto : Rome, Londres, Venise : le triomphe de la lumie`re / ouvrage publieĀ“ sous la direction scientifique de Madame Boz?ena Anna Kowalczyk, a` l'occasion de l'exposition au Centre d'art de l'ho^tel de Caumont, du 6 mai au 13 septembre 2015, Fonds Mercator, Bruxelles, 2015, pp. 132, 148, 149, 150, 211, cat no. 30, NJ18.C17 C356 2015 OVERSIZE (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Yale University Art Gallery, English drawings and watercolors, from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, April 15 - June 20, 1965, New Haven, 1965, cat. no. 7, Pl. V, NC228 Y34 (YCBA)
  • Dimension depth :: 3.2cm
  • Dimension height :: 38.7cm
  • Dimension height :: 81.3cm
  • Dimension width :: 106.7cm
  • Dimension width :: 71.8cm
  • Exhibition :: An American's Passion for British Art - Paul Mellon's Legacy
  • Exhibition :: Canaletto
  • Exhibition :: Canaletto and the Conquest of Light
  • Exhibition :: Canaletto in England
  • Exhibition :: Canaletto in England - A Venetian Artist Abroad, 1746-1755
  • Exhibition :: English Drawings and Watercolors from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon
  • Exhibition :: English Landscape (Paul Mellon Collection) 1630-1850
  • Exhibition :: Paul Mellon's Legacy : A Passion for British Art
  • Exhibition :: The Art of Paul Sandby
  • Exhibition :: The Line of Beauty : British Drawings and Watercolors of the Eighteenth Century
  • Located in :: New Haven
  • Located in :: Not on view
  • Located in :: Yale Center for British Art
  • Object type :: drawing
  • Object type :: watercolor
  • Subject Concept :: architectural subject
  • Subject Concept :: bridge (built work)
  • Subject Concept :: buildings
  • Subject Concept :: cathedrals
  • Subject Concept :: cityscape
  • Subject Concept :: columns
  • Subject Concept :: docks
  • Subject Concept :: gate
  • Subject Concept :: piers
  • Subject Concept :: river
  • Subject Concept :: water tower
  • Subject Place :: City of Westminster
  • Subject Place :: England
  • Subject Place :: London
  • Subject Place :: Thames
  • Subject Place :: United Kingdom
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  • ...
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  • Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
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?:label
  • The City of Westminster from Near the York Water Gate
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