The Glory of Venice - Masterpieces of the National Gallery

Wednesday 22nd to Friday 24th July 11am-1pm

This three-day online course explores many of the much-loved treasures of the National Gallery in the company of one of its specialist lecturers, Siân Walters. Discover the hidden secrets of masterpieces by Bellini, Titian, Canaletto Rosalba Carriera, Guardi and many more as Siân leads you on a structured guided tour of the collection. We include discussion of framing, display and restoration, allowing for a greater understanding of how the works are presented and cared for.

The course comprises three live-streamed lectures which will be given at 11.00am BST (British Summer Time). Tune in from anywhere in the world to watch or enjoy a recorded version of the lecture which can be accessed for up to 24 hours afterwards. Each session will last approximately 2 hours with a short break and a question/answer session. Students will be provided with comprehensive hand-outs and a suggested reading list/online resources before the course begins - these will be sent by email. 

Participant numbers for 3-day courses will be limited to allow for extended discussion. Those wishing to use the microphone/webcam function can appear in the lecture to ask their questions. There will also be a virtual "coffee break" where those wishing to use this function can chat informally and see one another.


Our first lecture explores the work of Giovanni Bellini, one of the most important and influential artists working in La Serenissima or “the Most Serene” Venetian Republic. Brought up in one of the leading family workshops in the city, Bellini’s early work was much influenced by his father Jacopo and continued to develop alongside his brother-in-law Andrea Mantegna. However, he soon developed a new and radical approach to style and technique, introducing a softer and more tonal use of light and colour which would revolutionize Venetian painting and prove perhaps the single most important influence on Titian, Giorgione and other leading artists of the cinquecento.

Our second session explores the work of Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese, investigating themes such as the function of art as a means of reflecting Venice’s political harmony; the revolutions in technique pioneered by the Venetian artists at the time, and the use of large-scale narrative painting to depict the city’s processions, festivals, ceremonies and pageants. We also look at the development of Venetian architecture with particular focus on palace and church building, exploring masterpieces by Mauro Codussi, Jacopo Sansovino and Andrea Palladio.

Our final lecture is entitled Canaletto and the View Painters of Venice  The production of vedute or views of Venice became a major industry in the 1700s and the artist most commonly associated with this particular genre was of course Canaletto. His works provide us with evocative and meticulously painted topographical records of the city, but there were many other artists also specialising in the genre including Michele Marieschi, Francesco Guardi and Bernardo Bellotto. These painters were much admired in their own time but are lesser known today – why is this the case? Our lecture explores many enduringly popular views of the city from its regattas and festivals to scenes of everyday life, alongside the exquisite portraits of Rosalba Carriera and the palatial commissions of Giambattista Tiepolo.


Further Information


1. BOOK.

Click on the gold “Book This Course/Event” button on the right hand side now, fill in the online booking form and pay online. Please use a UK account/card (if you are paying using a non-UK account/card please email us to arrange alternative payment methods). You will be notified automatically by email once your booking has been accepted. The participation fee is £60 per person, if making bookings for a number of people please provide their email addresses when booking them as separate participants.


Download ZOOM once you have booked - please print/download the instructions in this downloadable link and read them carefully. 


You will receive an email at least 24 hours before the course asking you to register.** This is a privacy function enabling only registered participants to attend. After registering you will immediately receive the log in link to the lecture/s.

** Please note that these details are sent out in office hours, so if you book on a weekend you may not receive them until Monday. You must register with the same name that you have booked under and at least 45 minutes before the lecture begins, otherwise you may not be able to watch. If you have not received your email confirmations, please check your ‘deleted items' and 'junk mail' folders.


Join the lecture at least ten minutes before it is scheduled to start, to ensure everything is working.

If you are not able to watch the lecture at the time it is live-streamed, you can still book online, as above. You will be contacted after the lecture has been broadcast with instructions on how to access the recorded lecture, for up to 24 hours afterwards.You do not need to advise us if you can't participate live, don't worry!

Bookings close the day before the lecture is streamed.

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for booking this event. We regret that we are unable to offer technical support with Zoom but tips can be found in the attachment. If you would like to book more than one event, please book separately for each lecture that you would like to attend, thank you. If you are booking for more than one person, it is important that you include their email address so that we can send them the lecture link too. We regret we are unable to offer refunds but don't worry if you are not able to attend, as we will send you the recorded lecture link.

On April 27 Zoom released Zoom 5.0. This new version provides increased protection for meeting data and resistance against tampering. After May 30 all Zoom users with older versions will be required to update the Zoom app before joining meetings.  Do ensure you have upgraded your Zoom to the 5.0 version - it's very easy to do. zoom.com/download

Image - Venice: The Grand Canal with S. Simeone Piccolo by Canaletto, © The National Gallery, London

I have so enjoyed your course and the virtual visit to Venice and have learnt so much. As difficult as life is being at the moment one big positive to come out of it is the opportunity to learn so much and to travel virtually to such an amazing city - and from the comfort of one’s home. Surely this is the next best thing to being there. I can’t wait to see one of your tours to Venice being advertised, you have certainly whetted my appetite!”

Mrs M Walsh

Read more testimonials and comments


  • Online, live lectures
  • Viewable from anywhere in the world
  • Explore the National Gallery with one of their specialist lecturers
  • Limited participants


  • Price: £60.00
  • Venue: See Further Information
  • Lecturer: Siân Walters


Booking is now closed.

If you have any questions regarding the course or booking please send us an email or
call on +44 (0)1932 267322

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