One of my interests outside politics is art, paintings in particular. On holiday I much prefer art galleries to beaches and pools. Whenever I visit a new town or city I always check out their museums and galleries. Of course for the last five and half years I’ve spent the majority of weekdays in the city with one of the world’s greatest collection of art galleries. But the Westminster 12 – 14 hour day doesn’t leave much time for recreation. So visiting art exhibitions has to be squeezed in – usually first thing in the morning.
One of my favourite artists is Canaletto so I headed off to see the National Gallery’s latest blockbuster, Venice – Canaletto and his rivals. His rivals being Guardi, Tironi, Joli, Pietro Bellotti and his brother Bernardo Bellotto, nephews of Canaletto.
The show has some familiar and less well known works from galleries all over the world. Paris, Berlin, Barcelona, Boston, Washington, Dallas, Houston, Ottawa, New York, StPetersburgh……and Bristol have all lent works. Yes, Bristol – where I’ve spent many hours every year at our City Museum and Art Gallery. We have a small Bellotto – the view of the Torre di Malghera which is exhibited alongside Canaletto’s own version.
The show is on until16 January 2011. See http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/