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You are hereHarvey-LeeHomeHarvey-LeeWeb ExhibitionsHarvey-LeeWoodstock 'Why Antiques' IntroductionHarvey-LeeCanaletto

(Venice 1697 – 1768 Venice)

Landscape with a Woman at a Well

Elizabeth harvey-Lee

Landscape with a Woman at a Well
Ref: Bromberg 29 iiA/iii
136 x 207 mm
Etching, the plate signed with initials.
An early impression in the second state of three.


To view a higher resolution version of this print, please click this link: Canaletto Landscape

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Additional Information about the Print

Canaletto dominated topographical painting in Venice and was much collected by visiting British grand tourists. This patronage led him to dedicate the first collected edition of his etchings, published c1744, to the British merchant Joseph Smith, who was appointed British Consul in Venice in 1744.

Canaletto had taken up etching in the later 1730’s. His thirty-four plates, whether topographical or, as here, capriccio views sparkle with Venetian light and are imbued with the essence of the Rococo.

Etching is one of the intaglio processes.

The lines of the design are incised into the copper plate and the plate inked and wiped so that the ink is left in the lines but largely removed from the surface.

The plate is printed under great pressure, the bed of the press being ‘wound’ beneath the rollers of a mangle-like press so that the dampened paper is squeezed into the grooves to take the ink.

In etching the lines are bitten into the plate with acid. The artist covers his plate with a waxy ground and ‘draws’ (scratches or ‘needles’) his design into the ‘ground’, selectively exposing the copper.

The plate is put into acid which cuts into the copper where it is exposed.

The resulting printed line is flowing but clear and sharp.

For more information, and further examples of etchings and Intaglio forms of printmaking, please explore the Etching pages in the Techniques section of this website.