The lost oil painting by 18th-century Italian artist Canaletto which was found hanged in the East Sussex house is up for auction for £ 150,000

  • A lost oil painting by Canaletto will be auctioned for £ 150,000 in September
  • The 18 inch by 12 inch oil on canvas depicts the Dogna da Mar building in Venice
  • He was ‘lost’ for over 100 years after being placed in a house in Lewes, Sussex
  • The late owner knew it was a Canaletto, but decided not to sell it while he was alive
  • His descendants have now decided to part ways with the painting after it was assessed










A lost oil painting by Italian master Canaletto will be auctioned for £ 150,000 after it was discovered hanging in the living room of an English house.

The 18-inch by 12-inch oil on canvas depicts the famous Dogna da Mar building in the San Marco Basin in Venice – but it has been “lost” for over 100 years.

It was bought in London in 1920 for around £ 100, which would now equate to around £ 5,000, by the mother of the late owner, who has not been named.

The late, recently deceased owner inherited it over 50 years ago and proudly displayed it on the wall of her detached house in Lewes, East Sussex, after moving into the house in 1970.

The 18 inch by 12 inch oil on canvas depicts the famous Dogna da Mar building in the San Marco Basin in Venice – but it has been “lost” for over 100 years.

Although the owner knows that the painting was in fact a work of the Italian artist Canaletto, she decided not to sell it during her lifetime and it remained hanging in her living room.

But his descendants decided to part ways with painting after an expert from Lewes’ Gorringes Auctions spotted it on the wall during a routine antique appraisal.

The small work of art has received a pre-sale estimate of £ 150,000 and will go up for auction on September 28.

Philip Taylor, from Gorringes, said it was an incredibly rare chance for someone to buy an original Canaletto.

He said: “Bearing in mind that the artist’s larger, fully elaborate paintings sell for millions, this is an opportunity for a collector to purchase a Canaletto at a relatively affordable price.

It was bought in London in 1920 for around £ 100, which would now equate to around £ 5,000, by the mother of the late owner, who recently passed away.  In the photo: artist's name on the back

It was bought in London in 1920 for around £ 100, which would now equate to around £ 5,000, by the mother of the late owner, who recently passed away. In the photo: artist’s name on the back

The back of the canvas is inscribed with the name of Auguste Chatelain (photo), a 19th century Swiss psychiatrist known to have owned at least one other work by Canaletto

The back of the canvas is inscribed with the name of Auguste Chatelain (photo), a 19th century Swiss psychiatrist known to have owned at least one other work by Canaletto

“They just don’t show up on the market. I have been in the business for 50 years and have never met one before.

The unsigned painting is believed to have been made during Canaletto’s maturity period before he moved to London in the mid-18th century.

Because of its size, Mr. Taylor thinks it may have been a practice for a larger work by Canaletto.

The back of the canvas is inscribed with the name of Auguste Chatelain, a 19th century Swiss psychiatrist and historian who is known to have owned at least one other similar work by Canaletto.

It also has a label on the reverse side for Mayfair art dealer Arthur Tooth and Sons, where the late owner’s mother purchased the painting 101 years ago.

It also has a label on the reverse side for Mayfair art dealer Arthur Tooth and Sons, where the late owner's mother purchased the painting 101 years ago.

It also has a label on the reverse side for Mayfair art dealer Arthur Tooth and Sons, where the late owner’s mother purchased the painting 101 years ago.

The small work of art (pictured on reverse) has received a pre-sale estimate of £ 150,000 and will go up for auction on September 28.

The small work of art (pictured on reverse) has received a pre-sale estimate of £ 150,000 and will go up for auction on September 28.

Mr Taylor said: “The late owner had inherited it from his mother who had paid it a not modest sum in 1920.

“Her daughter bought the house in Lewes in 1970 and hung it prominently in the living room.

“We found it during a routine appraisal at the deceased’s large individual property.

“The family certainly knew who the artist was and we confidently attribute the work entirely to Canaletto.

“We expect great interest in a work by a famous artist that is freshly released after 100 years. ”

Painter Giovanni Antonio Canal, better known as Canaletto, born in Venice in 1697 and famous for his landscapes

Giovanni Antonio Canal, known as Canaletto, was born in Venice, son of a painter of theatrical scenes

Giovanni Antonio Canal, known as Canaletto, was born in Venice, son of a painter of theatrical scenes

Giovanni Antonio Canal, known as Canaletto, was born in Venice, the son of a painter of theatrical scenes.

He was very influential, famous for his precise and evocative views of the city (vedute).

The first images of Canaletto for local patrons are his most successful: these carefully designed, individual and atmospheric studies include “The Stonemason’s Yard”.

He found that providing stereotypical paintings to tourists was very lucrative.

These works, still highly qualified, were produced by him often in collaboration with an organized workshop.

They usually record lavish public Venetian ceremonies, as in “Regatta on the Grand Canal”.

Canaletto was appreciated by English collectors.

He visited England on several occasions between 1746 and 1756, painting works like “Eton College”.

His most important assistant was his nephew Bellotto, who became an accomplished artist.

Canaletto often produced meticulous preparatory drawings.

He may have used a camera obscura for topographical precision in the creation of some of his drawings, but he always remained concerned with satisfying the design of the composition, not just slavishly recording views.

Source: national gallery

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