A View of the Canal, Chinese Building, Rotundo etc. in Ranelagh Gardens, with the Masquerade
- About the work
About the artist
Charles Grignion the elder was born in London; the son of a watchmaker. He briefly studied in Paris, under French engraver and draftsman Jacques Philippe Le Bas, before continuing his training at Gravelot's drawing school in Covent Garden. He later worked mainly as a historical engraver and book illustrator. In 1748 he made the earliest engraving of a cricket match ‘from a Picture painted by Mr. Hayman’. He also produced architectural plates for William Chambers's ‘Designs for Chinese Buildings’ (published 1757) and for James Stuart and Nicholas Revett's ‘Antiquities of Athens’ (published 1762). In 1765 he became a member of the committee of the Society of Artists. Grignion worked into his late eighties, but died in poverty in Kentish Town.
Giovanni Antonio Canal (Canaletto) was born in Venice, the son of a scenery painter. He probably trained under his father and assisted his father in Venice and later Rome, before returning to Venice to join the Venetian painter’s guild. His early works were mainly ‘capricci’, sold locally. During the 1720s he began painting Venetian views and met his foremost patron; Englishman Joseph Smith. Smith lived on the Grand Canal and built up the most important collection of Canaletto’s work. It was sold to George III in 1762 and remains in the Royal Collection. Canaletto moved to London in 1746, living in Soho for ten years. In 1763, after returning to Venice, he was elected to the Venetian Academy and appointed head of the Collegio dei Pittori.