One of a pair of paintings commissioned by the Elector of Saxony who was also King of Poland.

Konigstein is on the Elbe near Dresden. Although Dresden, Vienna and Warsaw museums have several of Bellotto's fascinating views, his work is not well known in England. Only one small painting, an imaginary composition in the later manner of his uncle Antonio Canal, is attributed to him in the National Gallery. These two great views of the castle of Konigstein are far removed in style from Canaletto, not only in respect of the architecture. The colour-scheme is Bellotto's own, developed early in his career: cool grey, near-black, pinkish brown, apple-green, and a very effective extensive use of white. The lighting, with strong cast shadows somewhat arbitrarily imposed, relieves the uniformities and precise perspectives of the buildings. What might be thought an almost photographic effect is counteracted by the bold handling of paint. This work was acquired with assistance from the Wolfson Foundation.

Provenance

One of a pair of paintings commissioned by the Elector of Saxony who was also King of Poland; David Carritt Ltd.


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