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Canaletto (Venice 1697-Venice 1768)

The Arch of Constantine 1742

Oil on canvas | 185.3 x 106.0 cm | RCIN 400713

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The Emperor Constantine’s triumphal arch dates to AD 312. Canaletto based his composition on his own drawing of 1720 but reproduces the north façade of the arch as published by Desgodets in 1682 rather than the south side. The man seated beside the artist’s impressive signature, who is either drawing or making notes, may be Canaletto himself.