Luca Carlevarijs

  • 1663 - 1730
  • Artist
  • Italian

Despite an apparent lack of any formal training, Luca Carlevarijs excelled as a Venetian view painter. Scholars considered him the first artist to have consciously emphasized the importance and grandeur of Venice by depicting it as a center of international activity. Carlevarijs began his career in 1703 with the monumental publication of The Buildings and Views of Venice Designed in Perspective and Engraved by Luca Carlevarijs. The illustrations of 104 views of Venice were, at the time, considered "the most complete survey of the fabric of the city ever produced." Because the publication was considered by many as patriotic, Carlevarijs won favor and patronage from the residents of Venice. Carlevarijs documented many diplomatic scenes such as the arrival of dignitaries to Venice, who were customarily greeted with elaborate celebrations in their honor. The paintings were then given to the dignitaries to take home, where they would serve as a type of advertisement for the dramatic and lavish city. Although large pageant paintings were Carlevarijs's most notable commissions, he also made dynamic drawings and oil sketches of everyday Venetian life, conveying the vivacity of a busy city.