Bernardo Michiel Bellotto, aka Canaletto (1721 – 1780)
The renowned Venetian landscape painter (or vedutista) moved to Dresden in 1747 and was appointed as court painter by Prince-Elector of Saxony Friedrich August II one year later. The artist had already made a name for himself with outstanding paintings of Italian cities. After he literally brought Dresden into the public eye, he painted a total of eleven large vedutes of Pirna between 1753 and 1755, making Pirna the only small city ever to be painted by Canaletto. All of these paintings have been preserved and now belong to the Dresden State Art Collections ("Dresdner Kunstsammlungen"). A few replica can be viewed in various galleries between Houston and Saint Petersburg.
During the Seven Years' War, Prince-Elector and King of Poland Friedrich August II lived in Warsaw (1756 – 1763). Because Canaletto had no more clients at that time, he moved to Vienna and Munich to continue with his landscape painting. With the end of the Seven Years' War and the death of Friedrich August II, the artist had already exceeded the height of his fame in Dresden. He planned to find new work in Saint Petersburg but was instead commissioned by the Polish king in Warsaw. Canaletto died in Warsaw. He left 24 vedutes of the city.
(see Thieme/ Becker, page 487 et seqq)