OIL PAINTING: Stonemason's Yard, 1727
Although we associate Canaletto for the most part with mass-produced, crystal-clear scenes of celebrated sights, the 'Stonemason's Yard', his masterpiece, is not of this kind. A comparatively early painting , and almost certainly made to order for a Venetian client, it presents an intimate view of the city, as if from a rear window. The site is not in fact the Stonemason's Yard , but the Campo San Vidal during re-building operations on the adjoining church of San Vidal or Vitale. Santa Maria della Carita, now the Accademia di Belle Arti, the main art gallery in Venice, is the church seen across the Grand Canal.The Church of Santa Maria della Carita is still flanked by the slender campanile that collapsed in 1741.