A guided history of art tour of the National Gallery
Choose your date
Wednesday, the 17th of January 13:00 - 15:30
Friday, the 19th of January 18:30 - 21:00
Tuesday, the 23rd of January 13:00 - 15:30
Friday, the 26th of January 18:30 - 21:00
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to look at some of the finest paintings in the National Gallery and see beyond the initial beauty? To understand some of the depth, the history, the pioneering brilliance and the emotion that lies behind the bold but delicate brush strokes of the great Venetian art of a golden era. Wouldn’t it be great to start 2018 with a better understanding and appreciation of history, culture and art?
A step back in time to 16th century Venice and Venetian art
16th century Venice must have been an inspirational and exciting place and time. Its governance was stable and fair and for several hundred years, the Republic of Venice had been a powerful financial and maritime centre.
It was also a pivotal point for trade between Europe and the East and that inevitably meant silks, spices, new pigments and of course all the accompanying trappings and wealth.
A city to inspire
Perhaps because if its unique position and architectural beauty, rising up from the shimmering Venetian lagoon, by the 16th century, Venice was long established as a haven of talent and creativity.
Marco Polo and Casanova are some of the better-known writers of the time. Its beautiful glass trade had developed during the 13th century and by the 15th century it was the European capital for printing. Music too played a major cultural role in 16th century Venice and there was a collision of Gothic and Byzantine influences reflected so evidently in Venice’s architecture and sculpture.
With many wealthy families and merchants, Venice was also a magnet for intellectuals, culture and study. Although against this heady backdrop, it shouldn’t be forgotten that during the 14th, 15th and 16th century, the Republic also suffered under the atrocities of war and the plague. It short, Venice had a hedonistic combination of wealth and culture, beauty and tragedy.