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View of Vienna from the Belvedere
Painted between 1759 and 1760, Bellotto's panoramic View of Vienna from the Belvedere is the most famous of his thirteen scenes of Vienna, offering a sweeping vista of the city. Bellotto took his view from the Upper Belvedere, part of a palace complex built for Prince Eugene of Savoy in the early 1720s (the shadow of its façade falls across the foreground). From his vantage point at the top of the hill the artist was able to portray with characteristic precision the principal attractions of the capital, from the extensive gardens of the Belvedere in the foreground to the hills of the Vienna woods in the far distance. Bellotto very likely employed a camera obscura (an early form of view finder) to help capture the scene on paper. Despite his apparent fidelity to the locale, however, he took liberties with the site, compressing the city's plan to accommodate his composition. This allowed him to include far more of its architecture than is possible in reality.
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