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Canaletto was the leading painter of city views, or vedute, in eighteenth-century Venice. This early work, which nonetheless displays the most outstanding features of his style, depicts the most famous square in Venice from a high viewpoint, thus ensuring a broader frame for the composition. The horizontal line formed in the background by the façades of St Mark's and the Doge's Palace contrasts sharply with the vertical thrust of the Campanile, while the Procuratie lining both sides of the square give depth to the perspective. Another distinguishing feature of Canaletto's work was the painstaking rendering of all the elements that appear in his works, designed to create atmosphere in his view paintings.

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