Arts & Culture


Warwick Castle: The East Front from the Courtyard

Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal)about 1748

The J. Paul Getty Museum
The J. Paul Getty Museum

One sunny day in the mid-1700s, Canaletto set up his easel in the inner courtyard of Warwick Castle to capture the activities there. Although the strong horizontal line of the architecture forms the focus of the drawing as it divides earth from sky, Canaletto also filled the scene with many intricate details. A huntsman walks across the courtyard, dressed in a long frock coat and three-cornered hat, his rifle slung over one shoulder and his dog trotting beside him. A couple stand conversing against the back wall, while another woman in a full skirt and white apron enjoys the sunshine underneath the tower on the right. The rooftops of the city below can be glimpsed through the arched gateway of the central gate. These small details not only give a sense of the wall's great height but also humanize the scene.

Canaletto probably made this drawing as a preparatory study for a subsequent painting of the same subject. Although the painting contains more figures, it is very close to this drawing in every other respect.

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  • Title: Warwick Castle: The East Front from the Courtyard
  • Creator: Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal)
  • Date: about 1748
  • Physical Dimensions: 31.8 x 56.9 cm (12 1/2 x 22 3/8 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Pen and brown ink, gray wash, and black chalk
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Object Type: Drawing
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 86.GG.727
  • Markings: Markings: (Recto) at lower right corner, collection mark of Paul Sandby (L. 2112).
  • Inscription: Secondary Inscription: (Verso) on mount, inscribed "Warwick Castle Canalletti" in brown ink.
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Drawings
  • Culture: Italian
  • Classification: Drawings

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