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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.



Events programme

Highlight objects

Canaletto (Venice 1697-Venice 1768)

The Bacino di San Marco on Ascension Day

Marco Ricci (Belluno 1676-Venice 1730)

Capriccio with Roman Ruins

Explore the exhibition

Joseph Smith and Canaletto

Smith first met Canaletto in the 1720s

The Grand Canal series

The series was one of Consul Smith's principal commissions

Artists in Venice

Canaletto was one of many artists working in Venice

Landscape painting

The idealised rural landscape had always been popular in Venetian art

Printmaking in Venice

Venice was an important print-making centre for centuries

Opera and Theatre

Eighteenth-century Venice was a city of performance and spectacle

Book illustration in Venice

Many artists produced illustrations for printed books

The Palladian revival in Venice

The eighteenth century saw the conscious revival of the work of Andrea Palladio

The capriccio

Grand Tourists enjoyed these fantasy compositions

Map & directions

The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Canongate, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH8 8DX
By car

There is a public car park adjacent to the Palace at Broad Pavement. Please visit the Historic Environment Scotland website for more details.

Accessible parking spaces are located on Horse Wynd, just outside the Palace, on a first-come first-serve basis.

By train

The nearest train station is Edinburgh Waverley. The Queen's Gallery is a 15 minute walk from the station.  

Visit National Rail Enquiries for times and fares.

By tram

The nearest tram stop is York Place. The Queen’s Gallery is a 20 minute walk from the stop.

Visit Edinburgh Trams for times and fares.

By coach / bus

Bus numbers 6 and 35 stop near the Gallery.  Open-top tour buses stop nearby.

Limited free coach parking is available adjacent to the Palace. Alternative pay-and-display coach parking is available on nearby Regent Road.

By bike

A free-to-use public bicycle rack is located opposite the Scottish Parliament.