Thoroughly deserving of the title ‘La Serenissima’, Venice is a city where superlatives simply fall short, a city abundant in treasures, be they of an architectural, artistic or gastronomic variety. Balanced on pinewood stilts driven eight metres into the sea bed, Venice is truly a city like no other and a perennial city break favourite. After all, where else can you wander through charming campi or watch the gondolas gently glide under the many bridges that criss-cross the maze of canals upon which Venice is built?
Naturally, most visitors start their explorations with St Mark’s Square, in fact Venice’s only piazza, with its awe-inspiring basilica, soaring Campanile and the magnificent Doge’s Palace, for centuries seat of the Venetian government, home to the city’s law courts and, for a time, the city’s jail, too. And it is this sumptuous venue that, for just a few more weeks, plays host to a fascinating exhibition dedicated to the early and later works of the Impressionist painter, Edouard Manet, seeking to present how the artist’s journeys to Italy influenced his art and his desire to compare himself with the Italian masters.
Although not a classic retrospective, Manet, Ritorno a Venezia presents an extensive collection of 80 paintings, drawings and documents on loan primarily from the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, home to the largest collection of Manet’s works worldwide, as well as from museums in New York, Boston, Washington, Chicago, Frankfurt, Budapest, Dijon and Grenoble. And not only will you be able to view Manet’s work up close, but you’ll also be able to compare it to works by other great artists from whom Manet drew inspiration, including Titian’s Venus of Urbino, exceptionally loaned by the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, presented alongside Manet’s Olympia.
The exhibition runs until Sunday, 1st September and as it draws to a close, you should expect demand for tickets to be extremely high! The exhibition is open daily from Sunday to Thursday from 9am to 7pm and on Fridays and Saturdays until 8pm (closed Mondays).