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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 January, 2005, 16:33 GMT
Canaletto painting sold for 2.8m
Canaletto's Bacino di San Marco
Canaletto painted numerous views of his home city Venice
A painting of a Venetian view by Italian master Canaletto has been sold for $5.28m (2.8m) in New York.

The Bacino di San Marco was sold to a private buyer at a Christie's auction, exceeding its $4m (2.12m) estimate.

Painted in around 1740, it was one of four pictures originally sold by the Italian artist for a total of 100.

Christie's International Director Nicholas Hall described Wednesday's sale as "a fantastic vote of confidence for Old Master paintings".

Highly detailed

The Bacino di San Marco - the basin in front of St Mark's Square in Venice - is a scene that Canaletto painted many times.

One of his patrons was the Duke of Bedford, who commissioned no fewer than 24 Venetian views from the artist.

Known for painting highly detailed views of home city Venice, Canaletto also painted London and the River Thames in the mid-18th Century.

Christie's sold the painting alongside a number of Old Masters, with Filippino Lippi's piece The Penitent Mary Magdalen Adoring the True Cross selling for $2.2m (1.2m), $1m (530,000) more than its estimated price.

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