San Giacomo di Rialto (detail) by CANALETTO
CANALETTO
(b. 1697, Venezia, d. 1768, Venezia)

San Giacomo di Rialto (detail)

1725-26
Oil on canvas
Gemäldegalerie, Dresden

The colourful and picturesque San Giacomo di Rialto, also called San Giacometto, is considered by Venetians to be the city's oldest church. Though its present appearance dates from 1601, the original, small church was erected in the eleventh or twelfth century for the merchants trading on the market square near Rialto. The famous clock dates from 1401. The stucco and the medieval portico extend into the adjacent house, giving the church an unusually asymmetrical appearance. In Canaletto's day the Campo di Rialto still functioned as a market square and in his painting we see merchants with poultry and paintings, as well as gold and silver shops on the Ruga dei Orefici to the right. The Rialto Bridge is in the background.