It is said that painter Luca Carlevarijs (1663-1730) never had a real teacher, but studied “here and there”, drawing inspiration from various sources.
Born in Udine, this brilliant precursor of Venetian Vedutism first moved to the city on the lagoon in 1769, and later traveled to various Italian cities.
He often stayed in Rome, where he saw works by Salvator Rosa and Claude Lorrain, and most importantly met Gaspar Van Wittel – who taught him to be painstaking in topographical description and as objective as possible in his art.
In Florence and Bologna, as well as in the capital, he carefully observed folk portraits and their scenes full of “forgers and poor devils, / porters, rascals, pickpockets […] / bands of drunkards and greedy people, / tightwads, tobacconists, and barbers” – to use the words of Salvator Rosa (who was a poet as well as a painter).
Through his travels, Carlevarijs learned everything his talent needed to create the beautiful ‘vedute’ of Venice that our gallery here showcases.
After him, the genre would receive some of its most noteworthy contributions from the famous Canaletto (1697-1768).