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Details of gondola on a Venice canal
This exhibition is in the past. View our current exhibitions.

Canaletto in Venice

Canaletto was born in Venice in 1697, the son of Bernardo Canal (1674–1744), a painter of stage sets. He initially followed in his father’s footsteps, but soon abandoned this low-status work and began producing view paintings, taking the city of Venice as his principal subject. Although Canaletto’s views appear to be faithful to reality, he often moved buildings around and manipulated the perspectives to create a better composition.

Canaletto was a prolific draughtsman, making hundreds of drawings of the city he saw around him. Some of his sheets were preparatory studies for his paintings, but more commonly his drawings are finished works in their own right. The drawings shown here depict the most famous monuments of Venice—the Grand Canal, the square around the basilica of San Marco and its distinctive Campanile (bell tower)—as well as quieter, lesser-known corners of the city and lagoon.

The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.