Warwick Castle: The East Front from the Courtyard

Object Details

Title:

Warwick Castle: The East Front from the Courtyard

Artist/Maker(s):

Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal) (Italian, 1697 - 1768)

Culture:

Italian

Date:

about 1748

Medium:

Pen and brown ink, gray wash, and black chalk

Dimensions:

31.8 x 56.9 cm (12 1/2 x 22 3/8 in.)

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One sunny day in the mid-1700s, Canaletto set up his easel in the inner courtyard of Warwick Castle to capture the activities there. Although the strong horizontal line of the architecture forms the focus of the drawing as it divides earth from sky, Canaletto also filled the scene with many intricate details. A huntsman walks across the courtyard, dressed in a long frock coat and three-cornered hat, his rifle slung over one shoulder and his dog trotting beside him. A couple stand conversing against the back wall, while another woman in a full skirt and white apron enjoys the sunshine underneath the tower on the right. The rooftops of the city below can be glimpsed through the arched gateway of the central gate. These small details not only give a sense of the wall's great height but also humanize the scene.

Canaletto probably made this drawing as a preparatory study for a subsequent painting of the same subject. Although the painting contains more figures, it is very close to this drawing in every other respect.

Exhibitions
Canaletto (October 20, 1989 to January 21, 1990)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), October 20, 1989 to January 21, 1990
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (May 24 to August 8, 1993) (19)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), May 24 to August 8, 1993
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994) (10)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994
Master Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998) (10)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998
Drawing Italy in the Age of the Grand Tour (February 5 to May 12, 2002) (10)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 5 to May 12, 2002
Light and Water: Drawing in Eighteenth-Century Venice (May 17 to August 21, 2005) (10)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 1 to August 22, 2004
Canaletto in England: A Venetian Artist Abroad, 1746-1755 (October 19, 2006 to April 15, 2007) (48)
  • Yale Center for British Art, (New Haven), October 19 to December 31, 2006