Venice: City of Pictures – talk by Martin Gayford

2 min read  ·  15 Nov 2023

The Doge's Palace Seen from San Giorgio Maggiore, Claude Monet, 1908

The Doge's Palace Seen from San Giorgio Maggiore, Claude Monet, 1908

Join HENI Art Club on 29th November 2023 for a talk by renowned art critic and writer Martin Gayford about the history of Venice through pictures.

HENI Art Club members are invited to join an exclusive talk that will take us

HENI Art Club members are invited to join an exclusive talk that will take us on visual journey through the history of the city known as ‘La Serenissima’, the ‘Most Serene’. Far from being moribund and sinking, Venice has been remarkable in finding new roles for itself. It remains one of the centres of the world of art, as it has been for 500 years.

Venice was a major centre of art in the Renaissance: the city where the medium of oil on canvas became the norm and great artists such as the Bellini family, Vittore Carpaccio, Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, Paolo Veronese and Rosalba Carriera worked. The story continues right up to the present, with Yayoi Kusama, Marina Abramović, Sean Scully, Pipilotti Rist, Chris Ofili and Banksy all feature in the narrative. Since the advent of the Venice Biennale in the 1890s, and the arrival of pioneering art collector Peggy Guggenheim in the late 1940s, Venice has become a global centre for contemporary art.

The Rialto Bridge from the North, Canaletto, 1726-27

The Rialto Bridge from the North, Canaletto, 1726-27

Nowhere else has been depicted by so many great painters in so many diverse styles and moods. Views of Venice were a speciality of native artists such as Canaletto and Guardi, but the city has also been represented by outsiders: J.M.W. Turner, Claude Monet, John Singer Sargent, Howard Hodgkin and many more. In the 17th century, Rubens, Van Dyck, Inigo Jones and Velàzquez all came to learn from the masterpieces of Venice. Gayford will also explore how in the 19th century writers such as Henry James, George Eliot and John Ruskin, and the composer Richard Wagner, were deeply affected by the paintings and buildings of Venice.

Venice: City of Pictures, a recent publication from Thames & Hudson, is available for HENI Art Club members to enjoy in the digital library.

Martin Gayford is a writer and art critic. His books include Michelangelo: His Epic Life (Penguin) as well as multiple publications on art and artists for Thames & Hudson, including books co- authored with David Hockney, Antony Gormley and David Dawson. He has visited Venice countless times since the 1970s, covered every Biennale since 1990, and even had portraits of himself exhibited there on several occasions.

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