Venice: City of Pictures (Hardcover)

Venice: City of Pictures By Martin Gayford Cover Image

Venice: City of Pictures (Hardcover)


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A visual journey through five centuries of the city known for centuries as, “La Serenissima”—a unique and compelling story for both lovers of Venice and lovers of its art.

Enchanting, captivating, precious—Venice is one of the most cherished cities in the world. For centuries it was the heart of a global maritime power and a crossroads for diverse cultures. Today the city attracts millions of visitors each year, enticed by its irresistible beauty. Art lovers are drawn here by the paintings, prints, drawings, and films made by generations of artists who have captured its magical allure. It is through images—both of the city and the art created there—that Venice’s identity has been forged and spread so powerfully.

Venice was a major center of art in the Renaissance: the city where the medium of oil on canvas became the norm. The achievements of the Bellini brothers, Vittore Carpaccio, Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, and Paolo Veronese are a key part of this story. Nowhere else has been depicted by so many great painters in so many diverse styles and moods. Venetian views were a specialty of native artists such as Canaletto and Francesco Guardi, but the city has also been represented by outsiders: William Turner, Claude Monet, John Singer Sargent, Howard Hodgkin, and many more.

Then there are those who came to look at and write about art. The reactions of Henry James, George Eliot, Richard Wagner, and others enrich this tale. Nor is the story over. Since the advent of the Venice Biennale in the 1890s, the city has become a shop window for the contemporary art of the whole world.

In this elegant volume, Martin Gayford takes us on a visual journey through the past five centuries of the city known as “La Serenissima,” the “Most Serene.”

Martin Gayford is a writer and art critic. His books include Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud; Modernists and Mavericks: Bacon, Freud, Hockney and the London Painters; A History of Pictures: From the Cave to the Computer Screen and Spring Cannot Be Cancelled: David Hockney in Normandy, both with David Hockney; Shaping the World: Sculpture from Prehistory to Now, with Antony Gormley; Love Lucian: The Letters of Lucian Freud, 1939–1954, with David Dawson; and Venice: City of Pictures.
Product Details ISBN: 9780500022665
ISBN-10: 0500022666
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Publication Date: November 14th, 2023
Pages: 464
Language: English
[A] tour de force saga of the lives of Venetian painters and of visiting artists… Gayford is a marvelous writer.
— Art Eyewitness

From its rich history as a maritime power and magnet for diverse cultures to the central role it played during the Renaissance, Venice continues to enchant, fascinate, and lure hordes of eager tourists each year. Gayford takes readers on a visual journey through the past five centuries.
— Artnet News