Catalogue exploring the five spectacular views of the Fortress of Königstein in Dresden by Venetian painter Bernardo Bellotto, nephew and pupil of Canaletto
Bernardo Bellotto (1722–1780) ranks amongst the very greatest view painters of eighteenth-century Europe. Today, he is best known for his views of northern European cities: large-scale works characterised by panoramic compositions, a strongly contrasted use of light and shadow, and meticulous attention to architectural detail.
This book provides an overview of Bellotto’s life and career, as well as a record of the historic reuniting of his five spectacular views of the fortress of Königstein, displayed together for the first time in over 250 years, following the National Gallery’s recent acquisition of The Fortress of Königstein from the North in 2017. Commissioned by August III, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, these works depicting the fortress from different viewpoints are undoubtedly Bellotto’s finest non‑urban paintings. These remarkable pictures are imbued with a monumentality rarely seen at this time and the series dramatically illustrates the very different direction in which Bellotto took the tradition of European view painting.
Published by National Gallery Company/Distributed by Yale University Press
The National Gallery, London (July 22–October 31, 2021)
Manchester Art Gallery (November 20, 2021–February 27, 2022)
Letizia Treves is the James and Sarah Sassoon Curator of Later Italian, Spanish, and French 17th‑Century Paintings at the National Gallery, London.
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