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Mon 27th June 2016
Venice in Yorkshire
Latest From: House & Grounds

In the autumn of 1738 Henry Howard, 4th Earl of Carlisle, swapped the grey skies of Yorkshire for the translucent beauty of Venice, as he embarked on his second Grand Tour to Italy.

As a wealthy man in his forties, Carlisle’s 12 month tour was a cultural odyssey and a shopping expedition, during which he acquired a vast range of antique busts and sculptures, bronzes, coins and medals.

This was Carlisle’s second visit to Venice and he was keen to capture the memory of the city. He returned to Castle Howard at the end of 1739, and during the next decade a flood of treasures arrived in Yorkshire, as he recreated the flavour of Italy inside the house.

He assembled one of the largest collections of Venetian view paintings in England, some 40 pictures in all. This famous collection has gradually reduced in size over the years. Some were sold at the end of the 19th century, a handful were burnt in the fire of 1940, and many were sold by the family trustees in 1944, who believed that Castle Howard would never again be lived in.

Today just three spectacular pieces remain, all firmly attributed to Canaletto’s nephew Bellotto.

And now in June 2016 a special loan from the National Gallery adds to the collection; a large scene of a regatta on the Grand Canal painted by Canaletto in 1735 teeming with tiny detail.

Canaletto, Venice: A Regatta on the Grand Canal, is on display at Castle Howard until September 2016. It is a reciprocal loan from the National Gallery who have borrowed Castle Howard’s famous painting by Gainsborough, Girl with Pigs, for the exhibition, Painters’ Paintings: From Freud to Van Dyck.