This characteristic work by Canaletto was painted after his return to Venice from London in 1756, and expresses the poetic economy of his last phase.
Dolo on the Brenta Canal was the main town between Padua and Venice. Both Canaletto and Bellotto painted views of the town in the early 1740s. This picture is a reprise of Canaletto’s etching Le Porte Del Dolo, which belongs to the series of Vedute altre prese da i luoghi altre ideate da Antonio Canal dedicated to Consul Smith, which was published after 6 June 1744 (W.G. Constable, Canaletto: Giovanni Antonio Canal 1697-1768, Oxford, 1976, no. D 3; R. Bromberg, Canaletto’s Etchings, London, 1974, no. 6): this in turn depended on a drawing formerly in the Melchett collection (fig. 1; Constable, no. 667). The corner of the house on the right is shown in the etching but not in the drawing.
Constable records two other pictures based on the etching, which he did not consider to be autograph, one in Ca’ Rezzonico, the other once in the collection of A. Beurdeley (Constable, nos. 373 (a) and (b)). Bellotto exploited the design for his capricci at New Haven and Dresden.