Edward Rooker after Canaletto.
A West View of London with the Bridge taken from Somerset Gardens.
23 x 17.5 inches
An etching in original hand colour, engraved by Edward Rooker after Canaletto and published in London in 1794.
We are all so familiar with Canaletto's endless depictions of Venice that it's easy to forget what he achieved in England. He arrived in London in 1746 and remained working there for the next ten or so years. This majestic panorama of the London skyline has almost been given a Venetian sheen. The simple wooden rowing boats that enliven the foreground appear like gondolas and the people promenading in Somerset Gardens could be mistaken for Italian nobility. Even the dome of St. Paul's could be interchangeable with that of Santa Maria della Salute. Is this Canaletto being formulaic in his art or is he imposing a grandeur on the city of London that he thought it deserved? Either way, Canaletto was never quite as successful in London as he had been in Venice. There is, however, great beauty in this image (so faithfully reproduced by Edward Rooker) and a skill in its inclusion of so many of the city's famous landmarks including London Bridge, the Monument and of course, St. Paul's Cathedral. As with so much of Canaletto's later work there is always a dog depicted in the scene and this print is no exception.