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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

The Riva degli Schiavoni, Looking West

Photo: Eduardo Calderón

The Riva degli Schiavoni, Looking West

ca. 1735

Studio of Canaletto

Italian, 1697-1768

The Riva degli Schiavoni, Looking West relates to a celebrated painting by Canaletto in London's Sir John Soane Museum. SAM's painting is one of a group of replicas and renditions made after the original work by painters of varying skill. In 18th-century Venice, artists, members of their studios, and copyists often produced numerous versions of the same composition to fulfill the demand of collectors, particularly English tourists. Though it has been the subject of much scholarly debate, recent research and conservation on SAM's painting lead to the conclusion that it was likely created in Canaletto's studio by a member of his workshop.

Cleaning has revealed an engaging, light-filled atmosphere fitting for a view of Venice. Below, compare details of the white dog, as seen in SAM's painting and the Canaletto original, for an illustration of the master's virtuosic touch.
Oil on canvas
49 1/4 x 80 1/4 in. (125.1 x 203.8cm)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
Provenance: Collection of Baron Ludwig von Schacky auf Schönfeld Schacky collection sale, Rudolph Lepke’s Kunst-Auctions-Haus, Berlin, first part, 10 March 1914, no. 59, p. 20 possibly collection of Dr. Eduard Georg Simon (1864-1929), Berlin collection of his son, Theodor Ernst Simon, Berlin, by 1925 until 1929 Theodor E. Simon collection sale, Paul Cassirer gallery, Berlin, 5 November 1929, cat. no. 130, illus. p. 24 purchased at Cassirer sale by Kurt Walter Bachstitz Gallery, The Hague, The Netherlands, 5 November 1929 – 4 June 1931 purchased from Gallery by Kansas City Museum (now the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art), Kansas City, Missouri, 4 June 1931 – 22 June 1934 [1] returned by Museum to Kurt Walter Bachstitz Gallery, 22 June 1934 – May 1936 purchased from Gallery by Francis (also Franz) Zatzenstein (also Catzenstein, or Matthiesen), Matthiesen Gallery, London, May 1936 – unknown date possibly Private Collection, London, unknown date – 1950 Count Alessandro Contini Bonacossi, Florence, 1950 purchased by Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York, 6 June 1950 gift from Kress Foundation to Seattle Art Museum, since 1954, accessioned 1961 [1] According to Bachstitz inventory card, Ru No. 1362, in the Bachstitz archive at the Rijksbureau voor Kunsthistorisches Documentatie (RKD) in The Hague, the Canaletto was sold in June 1931 by Bachstitz to the Kansas City Museum together with a painting by Wouwerman. It was returned on January 26, 1933 or June 22, 1934, and in May 1936 was sold to Zatzenstein in London
Photo: Eduardo Calderón
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistoryBerlin, Germany, Kaiser Friedrich Museum Verein, Gemalde Alter Meister aus Berliner Besitz, July-Aug. 1925. Cat. no. 63.

Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, Paintings and Sculptures from the Kress Collection, 1951.

Seattle, Wash., Seattle Art Museum, "Views From Venice," (12/10/2016-12/10/2017), 450H

Published ReferencesInternational Studio XCVII. Sept. 1930. Reproduced p. 20.

Bulletin of the Bachstitz Gallery, 1935. P. 20.

Suida, William, Charles Seymour, Jr., and John Walker. Paintings and Sculpture from the Kress Collection, National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington: Acquired by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, 1945-1951. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 1951. Cat. no. 72, as Canaletto.

Suida, William and Richard Fuller. European Paintings and Sculpture from the Samuel H. Kress Collection. Seattle: Seattle Art Museum, 1954. P. 74, reproduced p. 75.

Shapley, Fern Rusk. Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: Italian Schools XVI-XVIII Century. London: Phaidon Press for the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, 1973. P. 164, reproduced fig. 316.

Constable, William G. and J.G. Links. Canaletto: Giovanni Antonio Canal 1697-1768. Vol. II. Oxford, U.K.: Clarendon Press, 1976. Cat. no. 122a, not reproduced, as studio piece in part by Canaletto.

Ishikawa, Chiyo. The Samuel H. Kress Collection at the Seattle Art Museum. Seattle: Seattle Art Museum, 1997. Reproduced fig. 39, p. 62.

Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are on the traditional homelands of the Duwamish and the customary territories of the Suquamish and Muckleshoot Peoples. As a cultural and educational institution, we honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future. We also acknowledge the urban Native peoples from many Nations who call Seattle their home.

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