THE ARTISTS: Bernardo Bellotto

1721 Date of birth of Madame de Pompadour


He was born on May 20 in Venice from Lorenzo and Fiorenza Canali, Antonio’s sister (Canaletto).


He had been part of Canaletto’s staff for a long time; he made a drawing of “Canal grande alla fondamenta di Santa Chiara” (the Wide Canal at the foundations of Saint Claire), now in Darmstadt.


He subscribed to the painters’ Fringe.


Possible starting of his relationship with Henry Howard, the fourth duke of Carlslile.


He painted “Canal Grande da Palazzo Foscari e Moro Lin” (The Wide Canal from Foscari Palace and Moro Lin), now in Stockholm, which commemorated the visit of Frederic Christian of Saxony; he worked for the Marshall von Schulenburg.


On November 5 he married Elisabetta Pizzorno in Venice. He also started to use the nickname “Canaletto”.


In spring he visited Rome with some stays in Florence, Lucca and Livorno. On October 15 his first son, Lorenzo Francesco, was born.


He was not a member of the Venetian painters’ Fringe anymore. He worked in Milan, Vaprio, Gazzada. His daughter Fiorenza was born.

1745 The arrival of Madame de Pompadour at the court


He painted two views of Turin for Charles Emanuel III. On August 12 his daughter Fiorenza died. On November 29 his daughter Francesca Elisabetta was born.


He worked in Verona. On December 2 his son Giambattista Francesco was born.


In spring he left for Dresden and painted the first views of this city.
On May 8 his son Giambattista Francesco died.


August III of Saxony appointed him as official painter of the court with rich gift and a high salary. He worked at the views of Dresden and Pirna, a long series that he would realize in eleven years. His daughter Maria Anna was born.


His daughter Maria Anna died, while Maria Josepha was born.


His daughter Cristina Xaveria was born but on November 27 Antonia Federica died.


He worked at the first views of Pirna.


His father Lorenzo sent a letter to the earl of Bruhl to complain about the son.


He began working at the views of Kiinigstein.


His daughter Theresia Francisca Florentia was born.


He got a passport to Bayreuth.


He moved to Vienna, where he would work for two years for the earl of Kaunitz, the prince of Liechtenstein and Mary Therese of Austria.


The Prussian bombing on Dresden destroyed his house and almost all the plates for the engravings.


He left Vienna for Munich, where he would paint three views of the sovereign Maximilian III of Bavaria.


At the beginning of the year he returned to Dresden; he made the two allegories of the political situation of Saxony.

1764 The death of Madame de Pompadour


The Council of the Academy appointed him as “associated teacher” of perspective, he tried to get the payment of the works carried out for the earl of Bruhl, with no result. He had to pay for the debts of his son Lorenzo.


He took part to the second exhibition of the Academy with a view of the previous year. He asked for a permission of nine months to go to Saint Petersburg.


During his journey to Russia, he stopped in Warsaw. Marcello Bacciarelli introduced him to the king, who invited him to stay. He started working to the decoration of the castle of Ujazdow. Then he decided to settle in Warsaw with the rest of his family.


Catherine II of Russia bought fifteen views by Bellotto from the Bruhl collection. The king appointed him official painter of the court. He began to work to the twenty-six views of the city and of Wilanow, which would take him busy for the rest of his life.


He signed together with his son Lorenzo two paintings of the “Roman” series for the castle of Ujazdow. The eldest daughter married the geographer of the court.


In the view of the Prague suburbs he painted the son-in-law and the son Lorenzo, who died on October 20.


He made for the earl of Ossolioski the sole non-royal commissioned painting of the whole Warsawian period.


On November 20 he died in Warsaw and the day after he was buried in the local church of Capuchins.


Square of the Signoria in Florence
Oil on canvas
Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest Hungary