Lucca Cathedral from the south-east


This is one of five views of Lucca formerly believed to be by Canaletto (1697–1768), but attributed to his nephew Bellotto in 1953 by F. J. B. Watson, who referred, however, to their ‘incontestable’ ‘Canalettesque character’. It shows Lucca Cathedral from the south-east, with two men talking by a walled garden in the foreground, south transept, choir, part of the apse and Capella del Sacramento seen above rooftops, a small courtyard, houses and a wing of the Palazzo dell'Arcivescovado beyond; campanile in the background. 

The 1829 catalogue of the King’s Topographical Collection referred to the five views as ‘taken with the Camera Obscura’, possibly because of their early association with Canaletto, reported to have used this optical device. Images drawn with the camera obscura often show a distortion of the outlines to create an exact perspective that does not necessarily correspond to what we normally see.

Full title:
[Lucca Cathedral from the south-east].
between 1742 and 1745
Drawing / Pen and Ink over Pencil
Bernardo Bellotto
Usage terms

Public Domain in most countries other than the UK.

Held by
British Library
Maps K.Top.80.21.d. 

Full catalogue details

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