Venice and Paintings

Venice has fascinated people, especially artists, for centuries. The Fondation Beyeler is devoting a magnificent exhibition to the delightful city on the lagoon and the myths that have formed around it, comprising 150 oil and watercolor paintings from major museums and private collections around the world. For the first time, renowned Venice pictures by famous artists such as Canaletto, Francesco Guardi, William Turner, James McNeill Whistler, John Singer Sargent, Edouard Manet, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Odilon Redon, and Paul Signac will be on display together. A large part of the paintings Claude Monet executed in Venice in 1908 will form a high point in the exhibition. The myth of Venice was largely established by artists. In the nineteenth and twentieth century, the “Serenissima” became a cult destination for painters and photographers. They were all intrigued by the mysterious city and its unique churches, palaces, ships, canals, market-places, and colorful everyday life. Especially the atmospheric interplay of sky and sea, light and water, inspired epoch-making works that provided crucial impulses to the development of modern art. The exhibition is supplemented by historical photographs of Venice from the second half of the nineteenth century. On view in parallel are contemporary photographic works on the city by Vera Lutter and David Claerbout. Guest curator of the exhibition, which will be on view at the Fondation Beyeler only, is Martin Schwander.