Venice is jam-packed with famous artwork, from the Renaissance to the 20th century. Bellini, Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese, Tiepolo and Canaletto are all great Venetian artists whose works can be found in many of the churches, arts schools and museums throughout the city.
Modern artwork is well-represented at the Guggenheim Museum in Dorsoduro, with works by many of the 20th century’s biggest artists including Picasso, Matisse, Pollock, etc. . Set in leafy surroundings, the modern artwork perhaps offers a welcome relief from the rest of the renaissance-heavy city.
Some key pieces of artwork can be found at:
Accademia – Enthroned Madonna by Bellini is a sumptuous altarpiece, and Supper in the House of Leviby by Veronese caused controversy at the time. It was commissioned as a Last Supper by the authorities but they were outraged to see that it contained “dogs, buffoons, drunken Germans, dwarfs and other such absurdities” . They made Veronese change the title. Procession in St. Mark’s Square by Bellini is an example of a depiction of Venetian celebrations and ceremonies. Pieta’ by Titian is his last work and considered his best.
Church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari Assumption of the Virgin by Titian is very dramatic, dominates the church and is a fine example of Titian’s use of red
Scuola di San Rocco – A Very elaborate white, renaissance exterior, and the inside houses masterpieces by Tintoretto
Ca’ Rezzonico – Glittering palazzo housing Tiepolo frescoes, Venice canvases by Canaletto and depictions of everyday Venetian life by Pietro Longhi.
Guggenheim Museum – Among the artworks here are the early cubist work ,The Poet by Picasso , Empire of Light by Magritte which plays a trick on the viewer with its daylight / night time street lamp, and the Bird in Space sculpture by Brancusi
La Bienniale Art Festival
The Venice Biennale (bi-annual art exhibition) first took place in 1895. It was originally supposed to celebrate the silver anniversary of King Umberto and Margherita of Savoy. However, the Venetian Mayor of the time was also keen to transform artists’ evening meetings at the famous Caffe’ Florian in St. Mark’s Square into a prestigious international art exhibition.
The Festival’s main base is the Giardini at the far end of the Castello sestiere of Venice, where many different nations present artwork by chosen national artists in pavilions. The art is often avant-garde.
Venice as a Film Set
Venice is frequently used as a backdrop to many blockbusters, ranging from Period Dramas to Action Thrillers. Some of the best known films to be shot in the city include, ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (church in San Barnaba), James Bond’s ‘Moonraker’ (Piazza San Marco), ‘Death in Venice’ (Hotel des Bains), Woody Allen’s ‘Everyone says I Love You’ and ‘The Wings of a Dove’.
Destination – Italy