View of Dresden from the Bridgehead of the New Town

Bernardo Bellotto1765

Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe

Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe
Karlsruhe, Germany

One of the most interesting works in this section is the "View of Dresden from the bridgehead of the "New Town", by Bernardo Bellotto, known as Canaletto (1720-1780).

Born in Venice, the artist was in Rome, Florence, Turin, Milan, and Verona before arriving in Dresden, where he was active at the court of Elector Frederick Augustus II (1696-1763) from 1747 until 1767, with only brief interruptions. From there, he moved on to Munich, Vienna, St. Petersburg, and Warsaw. He created his vedute of Dresden with the highest sophistiction, employing the help of a "camera obscura" and making extensive detail studies.

The image in Karlsruhe was made in 1765 as a gift for the Elector, who had appointed Canaletto director of the Academy. An imposing view of baroque Dresden opens along the Augustus Bridge and over the Elbe. The most prominent points are the splendid dome of the Frauenkirche (left), the terraces and buildings of the Palace of Brühl, the blunt tower of the Church of the Holy Cross, which collapsed in the same year that the painting was produced, and Gaetano Chiaveri's royal chapel (right).


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