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A do-it-yourself walk with the Godfather

Part 7: A legacy to equal the panorama

Although Canaletto’s actual visit to London was not a huge success commercially or artistically, its follow on consequences were considerable. His art had a notable impact on the soon to emerge English tradition of topographical watercolour of which Turner was a leading exponent. This in turn influenced landscape painting in Britain in the early 19th century, which then influenced the Barbizon school in France in the mid 19th century, and that influenced the young Impressionists in the 1870s. Thus, by that curious process of art historical influences which resembles a game of Chinese Whispers, I think one might argue that Canaletto had an influence on Monet’s later Thames Series.

If you go to www.abcgallery.com you can find a good range of Canaletto’s views of London and from them you might put together your own walking tour. In the meantime I will write to the Mayor and ask him to get London moving by reissuing the London Transport guide in time for the Tate Britain Exhibition.

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