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Canaletto (Venice 1697-Venice 1768)

Capriccio View of the Piazzetta with the Horses of San Marco c.1743-4

Oil on canvas | 108.0 x 129.9 cm | RCIN 404414

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The four magnificent gilt-bronze Greek or Roman horses, taken from Constantinople in 1204 and installed above the central arch of San Marco, were symbols of Venetian power. Canaletto has placed them on high pedestals in front of the Basilica where they are being gazed at in awe by visitors and the highest echelons of Venetian society.