Giovanni Antonio Canal, called Canaletto. Venetian School. Born 1697; died 1768. Canaletto's involvement with view painting, which followed his apprenticeship in theatrical decoration, seems to date from as early as 1720, when he must have seen Vanvitelli's paintings in Rome. It was probably Marco Ricci who introduced Romantic landscape painting to Venice during Canaletto's youth; but Carlevaris' topographical Venetian views made, perhaps, the most decisive impression on the young Canaletto. By the mid-1720'S British patrons were competing for his view paintings and in 1746, about four years after a probable second trip to Rome, Canaletto went to England, where he was still working in 1755. He returned to Italy no later than 1760. Very few of Canaletto's paintings are signed or dated, and the chronological classification of his work must be based largely on style, with some help from known publication dates of certain of his etchings, some records of commissions, and some knowledge of dates of the earliest purchases of paintings.