Canaletto & the Art of Venice

Canaletto & the Art of Venice is a new film shot in ultra HD 4K, based on the exhibition at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace. Premiering in Brisbane, the film will be in cinemas across Australia from August 2, 2018.


No artist better captures the essence and allure of Venice than Giovanni Antonio Canal, better known as Canaletto. Despite Canaletto’s close relationship with the city in which he lived and died, the world’s largest collection of his works resides not in his native Italy, but in Britain as part of the Royal Collection. In 1762, George III purchased almost the entire collection amassed by Joseph Smith, British Consul in Venice and Canaletto’s principal agent.

EXHIBITION ON SCREEN’s latest release, in cinemas across Australia from August 2nd, will grant unique access to the Royal Collection’s exceptional holdings of Canaletto's work, much of which is on display as part of the exhibition Canaletto & the Art of Venice at The Queen’s Gallery. The remarkable group of over 200 paintings, drawings and prints on display offer unparalleled insight into the artistry of Canaletto and his contemporaries, and the city he became a master at capturing. The film also offers the chance to step inside two official royal residences - Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle - to learn more about the artist, and Joseph Smith, the man who introduced Canaletto to Britain. The film is directed by David Bickerstaff, and co-written by David Bickerstaff and Phil Grabsky.


From London, Canaletto & the Art of Venice will travel to the great Italian city to explore the origins of Canaletto’s art. Whilst appearing to be faithful representations of the city, Canaletto's skill came from his manipulation of reality. He moved buildings around or opened up vistas to create the perfect composition, and his paintings of Venice were highly sought after by Grand Tourists. His playful imagination extended into a new genre in which he excelled. The 'capriccio' combined real and fantasy architecture into imagined views. In this sense, Canaletto is more than a topographical artist - he is a master storyteller.

Cinema-goers will embark on their very own 21st century Grand Tour, visiting the sites enjoyed by their 18th century counterparts and immortalised in Canaletto’s views - from the Rialto Bridge to the Piazza San Marco, and the Palazzo Ducale to the Church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo. Guided by Royal Collection Trust curators and the world’s leading experts in Venetian history, the film is not only a wonderful way to see the exhibition, but an opportunity to get closer to Canaletto and the city that inspired him.



Working with the world’s leading international museums and galleries, EXHIBITION ON SCREEN creates films which offer a cinematic immersion into the world’s best loved art and artists, accompanied by insights from the world's leading historians and arts critics. Since launching in 2011, EXHIBITION ON SCREEN has released 19 films which have been shown in 61 countries worldwide. It is, UK’s Guardian writes, ‘a global phenomenon’. For further information and details of screenings, visit

Marisa Purcell's Transmission

"When I paint it feels as though the verbal part of my brain goes quiet. It's like the pre-frontal cortex wakes up. What emerges usually surprises me."

The Sydney artist's solo exhibition Transmission is on view at Edwina Corlette Gallery, Brisbane, until April 7, 2018.

Tesselate , 2018, mixed media on linen, 153x137cm

Tesselate, 2018, mixed media on linen, 153x137cm

"The painting unfolds itself as I watch on.  Every action connects like a spider web or a network of fungus linking an entire forest. One thing affects the other.  The system is interdependent and co-dependant. I’ve always been interested in Einstein’s description of how mass affects the space around it. Space curves and every object sits in its own gravitational field, whilst still affecting its surrounds. Everything is a part of a system."

Portal , 2018, mixed media on linen, 183x168 cm

Portal, 2018, mixed media on linen, 183x168 cm

"My ongoing interest in veils, curtains, looms, shields, cosmology and liminal spaces continue to be investigated in these latest paintings.  These paintings attempt to create Realms, other possibilities, alternative zones - beyond realities we so carefully construct for ourselves.  They reveal a space that sits just beyond me, one that can only be seen once the veils are pierced."

Veneer , 2018, mixed media on linen, 183 x 168 cm

Veneer, 2018, mixed media on linen, 183 x 168 cm

"For me, the veil acts as a screen - mimicking the way the brain erects definitive boundaries to construct reality.  The veil, though, in these paintings transformed itself into a curtain - a flimsy liminal device that implies movement.  This movement makes it possible for me to activate the paintings’ surface- changeable depending on the viewing position. Like a mirror, my interest in  reflective pigments allows the painting to exist amongst multiple versions of itself."

Field , 2018, mixed media on linen, 198 x 153 cm

Field, 2018, mixed media on linen, 198 x 153 cm

"The way my paintings dictate themselves are (seemingly) akin to the universal laws of nature.  They are a distillation of the endless possibilities available to me, condensed into one flattened surface. They are cross-sections of time and being. Painting is my way of filtering through the doppler effect of noise -  and sit with the ubiquitous human desire to understand the unfathomable vastness of it all."