During the course of his long and successful career, Canaletto (1697-1768) had various dealings with the world of print-making. Indeed, this famous painter of city views – and, even more so, his patron, the English consul to Venice, Joseph Smith – were amongst the first in the eighteenth century to realise what role prints and engravings could play in promoting his work. After the series of drawings which were the basis for copperplate engravings by Antonio Visentini (printed by Pasquali in 1735 and 1742) and the etchings produced by the artist himself in 1746, Canaletto would in 1766 receive a commission for a series of twelve drawings depicting the various ducal festivities held in Venice. The work was commissioned by Lodovico Furlanetto, an important print merchant, who intended to have the drawings then reproduced by the Belluno-born Giambattista Brustolon (1712-1796), one of the most important engravers and etchers of his day. In brown ink and grey watercolour, Canaletto’s pen drawings are of exquisite quality and remarkable precision, with buildings, costumes and boats being rendered with a keen eye for detail. And Brustolon was equally skilful in transferring these wonderful perspective compositions onto copperplate. The success enjoyed by the resulting series of reproductions is clear from not only the numerous re-printings but also the number of paintings which various artists derived from them: see, for example, the well-known works by Francesco Guardi which are based on these compositions (most of them now in the Louvre). In Venice itself, there are two similarly-inspired paintings in the Museo Correr, whilst the Fondazione Querini Stampalia has a series of faithful copies painted by Gabriele Bella some time before 1782.