Private Collection, England; (Julius Böhler, Munich); (Böhler and Steinmeyer, Lucerne) in 1931.  (Count Alessandro Contini Bonacossi [1878-1955] Rome-Florence); sold to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation on 17 July 1950; gift to the Birmingham Museum of Art in 1961, no. 1961.121.  Exhibited in "Venetian Painting," Bohler and Steinmeyer, Lucerne, 1931, no. 12.
View of the Grand Canal
Birmingham, Ala., Birmingham Museum of Art (61.121), since 1952.(1) Canvas. 24 3/8 x 39 5/8 in. (62 x 100.7 cm.). Good condition, except for a few restorations, chiefly in the sky. Of the several versions of this scene, the one most similar to K1806 is in the collection of Senatore Borletti, Milan,(2) a picture of approximately the same measurements as K1806, but differing slightly in viewpoint and in the boats and figures in the scene. The attribution of K1806 to Canaletto seems to be fully accepted; its date is probably in the late 1720s.(3) The view is along the Grand Canal toward the southeast, with the Palazzo Loredan-Vendramin-Calergi in the left foreground and the Deposito del Megio at the right. A drawing by Canaletto now in the Courtauld Institute, London, which has been mentioned in connection with the right half of this scene, proves to represent entirely different buildings.(4) Provenance: Julius Böhler's, Munich(5) –exhibited: 'Venetian Painting,' Böhler and Steinmeyer's, Lucerne, 1931, no. 12. Contini Bonacossi, Florence. Kress acquisition, 1950 –exhibited, always as Canaletto: 'Opening Exhibition,' Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Ala., 1951; after entering the Birmingham Museum of Art: 'Canaletto and Bellotto,' Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, Mass., Aug. 2-31, 1960, no. 17 of catalogue; 'Canaletto,' Art Gallery of Toronto, Toronto, Oct. 17-Nov. 15, 1964, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Dec. 4, 1964-Jan. 10, 1965, Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal. Jan. 29-Feb. 28, 1965, p. 45 of catalogue.
(1) Catalogue by W. E. Suida, 1952, p. 65, as Canaletto. (2) Reproduced in color by V. Moschini, Canaletto, 1954, pl. II, as Canaletto. (3) K1806 has been attributed to Canaletto by R. Longhi (in ms. opinion, with a date toward 1740), Moschini (loc. cit. in note 2, above), and W. G. Constable (Canaletto, vol. II, 1962, no. 249, dating it more convincingly in the late 1720s). L. Puppi (The Complete Paintings of Catlaletto, 1970, no. 46A) also dates K1806 early. See also note 1, above, and p. 45 of catalogue of 1964-65 exhibition cited under Provenance. (4) See Constable, loc. cit. in note 3, above, and his no. 589, pl. 107. (5) Said to have come from an English collection.