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Draw Me a Story

Canaletto arch.jpg

So after the suckiness of yesterday morning (which was really just icing on the cake after Thursday's chat with the doctor, trip to the dental hygienist, and futile repair attempts on the MacBook) Peter the good houseguest and I trundled off in the sunshine to Dulwich to see the Canaletto exhibit. I love when Peter comes to town because we go to things that I usually skim over in Time Out. Not to mention he is Glinda compared to the previous polterguest's Almira Gulch.

Despite being a "household name", I didn't know much about Giovanni Antonio Canal or his 18th century visits to London. I'm pretty much of an art 'tard. He truly left some stunning landscapes. I especially liked the side-by-side paintings of the Thames, depicting views to the right and left from Somerset House. There was also an amazing interior of Westminster Abbey.

My favorites were at the end of the exhibit. There were several caprices (or perhaps caprizzios?), landscapes which came from Caneletto's imagination rather than painting snapshots on canvas. I'm fascinated by the creativity behind that. It's one thing to paint what you physically see (a skill I'm in awe of), but to paint somehting so realistic that is only in your mind ... it just blows me away.

The show's a big hit, and is much more popular than was expected. Give it a go if you can. Really good stuff.