A Vicarious Venice Visit – in Washington

National Gallery installs gondola, Canaletto works

A slim ray of light will pierce Washington’s bleak winter landscape next month. Museum-goers will have the opportunity to experience a little of the Veneto when the National Gallery of Art unveils “Venice: Canaletto and his Rivals.”

The exhibit will be on view Feb. 20 to May 30 and preparations are well underway. Wednesday, the Gallery installed one of the oldest surviving Venetian gondolas.
The 37-foot boat dates to the mid-1800s. It was once owned by the American landscape painter Thomas Moran (1837-1926.) He brought it back to the United States as a souvenir from his final visit to Venice. The gondola is equipped with two carved chairs upholstered in leather, with the customary brass sea horses on either side. It was restored in Italy in 1999.
Giovanni Antonio Canal, better known as Canaletto, was an 18th century painter from Venice, most renowned for his Venetian landscapes.
The gondola is on loan from the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Va.
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