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Affluent eighteenth-century visitors to the enchanting city of Venice delighted in taking home painted topographical views known as vedute. Canaletto, one of the foremost vedute painters, here animates the entrance to Venice with cargo boats and gondolas that lead the eye back to precisely rendered buildings along the shore. Clearly identifiable are the gothic intricacies of the Doge's palace at left and the church of San Giorgio Maggiore at right. Light from the cloudy sky, dappling the water with shadow, gives the view grandeur and unity.

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