Canaletto - Dresden from the right bank of the Elbe below the Augustus Bridge

by Alexandra Tuschka

Two painters are known today as Canaletto : Giovanni Antonio Canal and his nephew Bernardo Belotto. This work is by the younger - Belotto. 17 vedute of Dresden from his pen have come down to us - This is probably the most famous of them.


Many of the buildings depicted are still familiar to Dresdeners today: prominently in the picture, the baroque dome of the Frauenkirche towers over the roofs of the Old Town. The view is interrupted by the Augustus Bridge, which runs rhythmically through the picture. It is 400 meters long and was proudly called by the Saxons their "Rialto Bridge". It connects the old town with the royal new town. There is little of the latter to be seen here - a few staffage figures enliven the banks.


On the other side of the river you can see the Catholic Court Church under construction. The building goes back to the Roman architect Gaetano Chiaveri, according to whose plans Canaletto had to fit the building into the picture, since it had not yet been laid out at that time. The pointed tower behind the building is the Hausmannsturm, which is easily recognizable with its Welsh hood including spire and is still the oldest preserved part of the Dresden castle. Another small church tower refers to the Kreuzkirche. Due to the painter's attention to detail, numerous other buildings can be identified. For locals an interesting piece of contemporary history. The riverside development shown here can be traced back to August the Strong and August III.


The painting was created in 1748, when Canaletto was engaged as court painter. Only recently, Dresden's famous panorama was restored in a large-scale fundraising campaign.


Bernardo Belotto, called Canaletto - Dresden from the right bank of the Elbe below the Augustus Bridge

Oil on canvas, 1748, 133 x 237 cm, Old Masters Picture Gallery in Dresden