Canaletto and the Art of VeniceCultureCinemaMovie reviews
Exhibition on Screen is an organisation that is dedicated to opening up the arts through pioneering gallery and museum films for the cinema. This September, they are opening their fifth season with Canaletto and the Art of Venice, a documentary that delves into the current exhibition at the Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace.
The company’s films are shown in 55 countries, and in the UK they reach remote and rural areas that might otherwise be far removed from the cultural riches of London. Even for those living in the capital, their latest project offers an engaging way of enriching our understanding of one of the greatest and most influential painters of all time.
Canaletto and the Art of Venice lingers over paintings in a way that wouldn’t be possible even if you made it to the original exhibition. Delightful details jump out: the unique personality of every dog Canaletto ever painted, or the smudge of the artist’s fingerprint used to recreate the texture of brickwork. These are details that are easily missed or forgotten in the course of viewing an exhibition, making the film a valuable supplement to the show.
The documentary also gives a fascinating insight into the under-drawings and preparatory sketches made by Canaletto, some of which can only be accessed through infra-red scans. Along with an examination of a rare and characterful sketchbook from the archives of Venice’s Accademia, these breathe new life into the working practices of an artist who is surprisingly mysterious considering his instantly recognisable style.
The film is intended to be seen in the cinema, where viewers can immerse themselves in the work of Canaletto and his Venetian world. It’s a great opportunity for us to turn off our phones and commit 90 enjoyable minutes to enhancing our understanding of an extraordinary era and a powerful artistic talent.
Canaletto and the Art of Venice is released in selected cinemas on 26th September 2017.
Watch the trailer for Canaletto and the Art of Venice here: