Stonemason's Yard

Campo San Vidal

St Christopher

Event 3
Saturday October 9th, 3.00pm 
Little Missenden Village Hall

Desmond Shawe-Taylor, Surveyor of The Queen's Pictures

This is an archived event from the 2010 Programme.

This illustrated lecture will discuss Canaletto's development as an artist and explain how he became one of the most internationally successful of his generation. It will discuss his exceptional popularity with English patrons during his life-time, which persuaded him to visit England several times during the years 1746-55. His English agent was the British Consul in Venice, Joseph Smith, who sold his entire collection to George III, which is why The Queen has one of the most important collections of Canaletto paintings and drawings anywhere in the world. Did Canaletto paint specifically for English taste? Is his more precise and topographical later style something better suited to visitors to Venice, wishing to remember their stay, as opposed to Venetians?

The National Gallery's major autumn exhibition, Venice; Canaletto and his Rivals opens a few days after this lecture. It runs from 13th October 2010 to 16th January 2011.

Desmond Shawe-Taylor studied English Literature at Oxford and took an MA in History of Art at the Courtauld Institute. He taught for many years at the University of Nottingham. He was Director of Dulwich Picture Gallery from 1996 until 2005, when he was appointed Surveyor of The Queen's Pictures. He has written extensively on English eighteenth-century portraiture and other subjects. More recently he has curated exhibitions at the Queen's Gallery in Edinburgh and London, including Bruegel to Rubens (2008-9, also touring to the Royal Fine Art Museum in Brussels) and the Conversation Piece; Scenes of Fashionable Life (2009-10). His exhibition Dutch Landscapes is currently showing at the Queen's Gallery in Edinburgh (until January 2011) and will be shown at the Queen's Gallery in London (April-October 2011).

For a link to the Canalettos in the Royal Collection, click here. For a link to the National Gallery's Canaletto exhibition, click here. For a link to the National Gallery's Canaletto pages, click here.