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"Light & Colour - Venetian Painting Across the Ages"

by Stewart Cross

Saturday 12th October 2013

This talk led us from the Renaissance through the centuries to the eventual decline in the Venetian school of painting. We saw the beautiful and inspiring paintings by Titian, with Stewart explaining that the overall colours of the picture in combination with the movement of "Bacchus and Ariadne" made this his favourite painting. His enthusiastic and very knowledgeable presentation, with considerable wit, helped us to understand the meteoric rise of Venetian art, as well as its decline when Napoleon abolished the Republic. We heard how many of the artists, Tintoretto, Veronese and Bassano, liked to place both dogs and landscapes in their art works. Whilst many of the paintings were on religious themes for display in churches, there were many of a very private nature that were most certainly not meant for public display at the time! We are now privileged to be able to see most of these paintings in art galleries around the world.

Later artists, including Canaletto, produced works for sale to visiting aristocracy, so that whilst Alnwick Castle has eight of his paintings, there are only three in Venice!

The sizeable audience enjoyed a full range of paintings from artists over 300 years, and we ended with views of Venice by three non-Venetian artists; Turner, Monet and Whistler. A most enjoyable evening for everyone who was able to attend.