This painting is currently displayed in the National Gallery in London. It is one of Canaletto's larger works, measuring 124.5 x 204.6 cm and was painted in oil on canvas. The painting has been well considered and exquisitely painted. On the left, we can see a domed 18th-century church, which is the church of S. Simeone Piccolo. This church had been lovingly restored, with much of the church being rebuilt by Scalfarotto. It was rebuilt and consecrated in 1738, the same year that Canaletto did his painting. Canaletto's painting of the Grand Union Canal is inspiring as he has used an impressive range of colours, which create soft, controlled lighting. The painting's perspective draws the viewer in, and we can almost imagine standing in a bustling Italian street near the canal. The eye is drawn along the canal towards the church. Then into the distance where the canal turns a corner, out of view.
Canaletto's paintings are all highly detailed, and The Upper Reaches of the Grand Canal is no exception. He has also included some interesting and lively details, in this painting. There are boats with people on them in the foreground. Canaletto has successfully captured the atmosphere of Venice. The artist was an Italian born artist who lived between 1697 and 1768. During his career, he spent a lot of time painting and sketching on the banks of the Grand Canal in Venice. He liked to watch the punts and boats go by, and this is a subject that often featured in his work. He is most famous for his paintings of Italian landscapes, cityscapes, and seascapes. He also visited London, where he painted the river Themes as well as Greenwich. Throughout his career, Canaletto was inspired by the changing landscapes of industrious cities. As well as the waterways that served these communities.
This Venetian was also inspired by an Italian artistic tradition known as the Roman vedutista. Artists at the time were painting vast and very detailed cityscapes. It’s thought that Canaletto got his inspiration from artists such as Giovanni Paolo Pannini.