Ruskin's depreciation of Canaletto.

In general Canaletto is taken to deserve depreciation as a 'foul son of a deal board' ( Shapiro, Ruskin in Italy: Letters to his parents 1845, p. 209, and Works, 3.214 footnote), and an inferior workman who wasted his opportunity to preserve the memory of Venice. He failed in his use of colour ( MP I:109), in his presentation of architecture ( MP I:109), in his treatment of the relationship between architecture and human history ( MP I:110), and in his painting of water MP I:324 and the following pages. In a passage excised from the third edition of Modern Painters I but expanding the argument there, he is either 'blind' to facts' or 'conveniently lying' in his treatment of water ( Works, 3.523).

Ruskin's later criticisms of Canaletto expand but do not essentially change the views expressed in Modern Painters I, though some suggest that Ruskin's knowledge of Canaletto 's work and of the development of Canaletto's style does not provide a sound basis for the judgements he makes.