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

Canaletto's Roman Views

1742 Canaletto made a set of paintings for Joseph Smith of five large views of Rome’s greatest ancient monuments. Canaletto visited Rome early in his career and must have relied on his drawings from that time as source material. Prints and architectural treatises in Smith’s library would have also provided images. Antoine Desgodets’s (1653–1728) prints in Les édifices antiques de Rome of 1682 were especially useful, as well as the drawings by his nephew Bernardo Bellotto (1720–1780), who was training in his uncle’s studio and spent a few months in Rome in 1742.

Rome was the high point of the Grand Tour and the monuments are seen through the eyes of brightly dressed tourists. Some carry guidebooks, while others are accompanied by a soberly dressed guide or cicerone.

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.