These etchings are from a series of real and imaginary views of Venice. While the canal lock is situated in Dolo, a town on the Venetian mainland, the portico with a lantern and an arch in the distance is a fanciful invention. A prolific painter, Canaletto produced numerous Venetian cityscapes on canvas for tourists and the international market. However, in the set of 31 etchings he made for and dedicated to his patron, the British consul in Venice, Joseph Smith, Canaletto is more interested in conveying a picturesque impression of the place than in faithfully documenting real spaces. The sense of atmosphere is created by subtle effects of light, the fluid handling of the etching needle, and Canaletto’s vibrant, distinctly individual mark-making.