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Bernardo Bellotto and the Capitals of Europe [Hardcover]

Edgar Peters Bowron , Irina Artemmieva , Charles Beddington , Martina Frank , Bozena Anna Kowalczyk , Andrzej Rottermund , Gregor Weber
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Book Description

18 July 2001
Bernardo Bellotto is considered to be one of the greatest topographical and landscape painters of the eighteenth century. Trained as a painter of cityscapes, he produced vivid and memorable images of many of the greatest cities of Europe, including Venice, Florence, Rome, Dresden, Munich, Vienna, and Warsaw. He also ventured successfully into genre, portraiture, allegory, and history painting. This beautiful book, written by leading specialists on Bellotto, examines his career and artistic development, places his work in the context of the political needs of central European monarchs, and presents a selection of his major paintings from each of his principal periods and genres. Bellotto began as a painter of conventional views of Venice in the manner of his more famous uncle, Canaletto. However, his quest for new subject matter led him to visit half a dozen cities in northern and central Italy in the early 1740s, and at twenty-five he left Italy for northern Europe, where he spent the rest of his life working for royal and aristocratic patrons. In Dresden he was engaged in the service of Augustus III, where he created many glorious canvases and was awarded the title of Court Painter. He then moved to Vienna and recorded its attractions for Empress Maria Theresa. He ended his career as Court Painter in Warsaw, and his detailed paintings of the city played an important role in its reconstruction after the Second World War. The book demonstrates that in each of the places Bellotto lived, he was able to capture the particular light and life with sensitivity and imagination. This book is the catalogue for an exhibition to be held at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, from July 29 to October 21, 2001.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (18 July 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300091818
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300091816
  • Product Dimensions: 28.9 x 25.7 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,442,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I first came across Bellotto in the flesh during an exhibition of his works held at the Kunsthistoriches Museum in Vienna in 2005. I was taken aback by both the intricacy of detail and the overall dramatic effects, and quite clearly saw the links with his uncle Canaletto. But there was more than a repeated Canaletto in Bellotto's paintings. It seems that he had taken the veduta to a higher level. Alas, the accompanying catalogue was in German and my proficiency in that language is not great enough, so I searched online and ordered this one instead.

This is a large and sumptuous book from Yale University Press, in support of exhibitions of Bellotto's work held in 2001 in Venice and Houston. One might quibble about the title - Bellotto never saw Paris, London, St Petersburg, Berlin, or Madrid - but there is a large enough European tour here to satisfy me. We can only be amazed that he painted such huge canvases of over two metres in width at the age of twenty-three!

The opening sentence of the foreword may raise a few eyebrows: "Among the topographical view painters who flourished in eighteenth-century Europe, none did more to enrich the conventions of the painted veduta, or possessed a wider range than Bernardo Bellotto." To a certain degree, this book goes some way to satisfying that claim, following his movements across Europe from Venice to Florence, Rome, Milan, Turin, Verona, Dresden, Munich, Vienna and Warsaw. The development of his art into other genres is seen as a precursor of the Romantic landscape.

A concise chronology of his life, more extensive that the usual biographical note, is followed by four essays prior to the catalogue itself.
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