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Canaletto and the Art of Venice

Details of gondola on a Venice canal

The Royal Collection contains the world's finest group of paintings, drawings and prints by Venice's most famous view-painter, Canaletto (1697-1768). These works were bought by the young George III in 1762 from Canaletto's agent and dealer Joseph Smith, British Consul in Venice, along with the rest of Smith's huge collection.

The exhibition presents a spectacular selection of eighteenth-century Venetian art, with Canaletto's greatest works shown alongside paintings and works on paper by Sebastiano and Marco Ricci, Francesco Zuccarelli, Rosalba Carriera, Pietro Longhi and Giovanni Battista Piazzetta. The exhibition explores the many delights of eighteenth-century Venice, from the splendours of the Grand Canal and St Mark's Square to its festivals, theatre and masked carnival, bringing the irresistible allure of the most beautiful city in the world to The Queen's Gallery.

This film introduces Canaletto and Consul Smith, and some of the themes of the exhibition.


Highlight objects

Canaletto (Venice 1697-Venice 1768)

The Bacino di San Marco on Ascension Day

Canaletto (Venice 1697-Venice 1768)

The central stretch of the Grand Canal

Marco Ricci (Belluno 1676-Venice 1730)

Capriccio with Roman Ruins

Events programme

Schools sessions

Key stage 2, key stage 3, key stage 4, key stage 5
A Grand Tour of Venice - A Creative Writing workshop

The many possibilities for inspiring Creative Writing from works of art, compared to more familiar sources such as books and the internet

Key stage 2, key stage 3, key stage 4
How do you create a Landscape?

Examine the techniques and skills used by Canaletto and other artists featured in Canaletto & the Art of Venice to produce these fine examples of landscapes

Key stage 1
On a Grand Tour - a drama workshop

In this exciting drama session children plan an imaginary trip to Venice to choose a painting for The Queen

Map & directions

The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London, SW1A 1AA
By train

The nearest train stations are London Victoria (10 minute walk) or London Charing Cross (20 minute walk). 

Visit National Rail Enquiries for times and fares.

By underground

The nearest tube stations are Victoria, Green Park, St. James's Park and Hyde Park Corner (all approximately 10 minutes walk).  

For further information visit the Transport for London website.

By coach / bus

Bus numbers 11, 211, C1 and C10 stop on Buckingham Palace Road.  Victoria Coach Station is a 10-minute walk from the Palace.  

For further information visit the Transport for London website.