Mad he may have been thought, however George III was indeed wise enough to buy a collection of stunning artworks by Canaletto, which are now on show to the public at Buckingham Palace.
Called Canaletto and the Art of Venice this display of magnificent oil paintings, pastels, prints and drawings can be seen at the Queen’s Gallery adjacent to the palace.
With works from the 18th century by Canaletto himself and other leading Venetian artists makes this a classic encounter with a key period of the flowering of art in Venice as must visit in London.
This Canaletto exhibition displays works that were acquired by Joseph Smith an avid collector who sold a huge number of these for around £10,000 to the astute George III who snapped up the collection with some of the paintings ending up in his bed-chamber…so not so mad after all!
Joseph Smith who at the time was really in today’s parlance, a middle man, although a British Consul he also acted as Canaletto’s agent, nice work if you can get it!
Today that would be just under £2M however just one of those paintings today would be worth that and more! With Mr Smith getting 10% commission it must have been a good payday perhaps that month for him!
In all there are two hundred items on show and the gallery has them displayed beautifully some in extended large groupings. It starts with two of the most iconic paintings but there are plenty of further treats as you make your way deeper into the assorted brightly painted exhibition spaces.
Although aimed more at the adults there is a section where its possible to dress up in clothes of the time with also some Venetian masks too.
The exhibition will run until Sunday 12th November 2017. Other artists that are featured include, Sebastiano and Marco Ricci, Rosalba Carriera, Francesco Zucarelli and Pietro Longhi.
Over 60’s / Student’s £10
Under 17 /Disabled £5.50
Under 5 Free