Canaletto Celebrating Britain

Home Event Canaletto Celebrating Britain
When the Venetian painter Antonio Canal arrived in London in 1746, Britain was booming. During his nine-year stay, the artist captured the latest achievements of British architecture and engineering. Including loans from Compton Verney, The National Trust, The British Museum, Royal Collection Trust and Tate this exhibition also features Canaletto’s British contemporaries and a review of John Wood’s reinvention of architecture in Bath.    
London: The Thames from Somerset House Terrace towards the City Royal Collection Trust

London: The Thames from Somerset House Terrace towards the City, 1750-51. ©-Her-Majesty-Queen-Elizabeth-II-2015. Royal Collection Trust

Giovanni Antonio Canal (1697-1768), known popularly as Canaletto, is today remembered as one of Italy’s greatest view painters. His images of Venice were particularly popular with Grand Tourists from Britain. When war caused the flow of British visitors to Venice to dry up, Canaletto followed his patrons home to Britain, where he stayed for almost nine years from 1746 to 1755.

Through a series of astonishing canvases and drawings, Canaletto celebrated the accomplishment, success and prosperity of the rising British nation and its latest achievements of architecture and engineering. Canaletto’s London is busy but beautiful with its wealth of new landmarks: Wren’s Baroque churches, the majestic St Paul’s Cathedral and the naval palaces of Greenwich; Hawksmoor’s ‘Gothick’ towers for Westminster Abbey, William Kent’s new Palladian Horse Guards building and the Rococo pleasure gardens at Vauxhall and Ranelagh. The construction of two marvels of engineering, the new bridges across the Thames at Westminster and Walton, is documented in detail.

Principal Sponsor
Roper Rhodes

Supporting Sponsor
Tatham Macinnes

This exhibition has been organised by Compton Verney and will travel to Abbot Hall in Kendal.

Don’t miss our Canaletto Weekender 24 to 26 July – includes foodie treats, art workshops, lectures, live music and more!