Canaletto was born near the Rialto in Venice. His father was Bernardo Canal, a painter of theatrical scenery. It is likely Canaletto trained with his father, learning about perspective and painting architecture. From the 1720s, he cornered the new market of painting Venice for northern European tourists, and was incredibly successful. Caneletto had many British patrons who would procure his paintings when they visited Venice and he also visited England on numerous occasions. This painting is a smaller version of the painting Canaletto submitted when he was elected to the Venetian Academy in 1763. The original is now in the Gallerie dellAccademia, Venice. This smaller work is said to have come from the collection of Count Algarotti of St Petersburg, for whom Canaletto is believed to have painted it. The painting itself is a collection of parts from different buildings or places arranged into a picture. There is a very strong use of light and shade to emphasise the angles of the view.