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Bernardo Bellotto - Italian Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - Bernardo Bellotto (1721 - 1780)

Nephew of Canaletto, Bernardo’s Bellotto’s work spent most of his life outside Italy. Because he signed many of his works done abroad with the signature “de Canaletto,” many of his paintings were mistakenly attributed to his famous uncle. At the age of seventeen, Bellotto was admitted to the Venetian painter’s guild, probably with the help of his Canaletto. In the 1740’s, he traveled to Rome and northern Italy and painted his first imaginary views, also called vedute ideale. He also remained interested in architecture and the sky. Bellotto moved to Dresden in 1747 and became the highest paid artist in the Saxon court. In 1768, he worked in Vienna and Munich and also became a court painter in Warsaw. His paintings of Warsaw, later relocated to Moscow and Leningrad, were restored to the Polish Communist Government and were used in rebuilding the city after its near-complete destruction by German and Russian troops during World War II.Bellotto's style was characterized by elaborate representation of architectural and natural vistas, and by the specific quality of each place's lighting. It is plausible that Bellotto, and other Venetian masters of vedute, may have used the camera obscura in order to achieve superior precision of urban views.

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