Over the past months, I’ve been working with colleagues across the National Gallery, particularly my two curatorial colleagues Maria Alambritis and Charlotte Wytema, on a new temporary presentation of a selection of the Gallery’s Venetian paintings from Giovanni Bellini to Titian, roughly. The display was conceived to inaugurate the newly – and beautifully – refurbished room 29 as part of our bicentenary NG200 celebrations. It is poignant, I think, that room 29 which first opened in 1930 was originally designed precisely for the Venetian paintings.

Although a collection display, our presentation is organised like a exhibition, presenting the story of Venetian painting in the period, the lives of the artists, the social, religious and political context with a view to elucidating why it was so pivotal in the development of Western painting, collected so assiduously in Britain (and elsewhere) in the nineteenth century and thus why it is so core to the National Gallery’s collections.

In the video above, my colleague Carlo Corsato introduces a number of the key players in the organisation of the display, including of course yours truly. Do come have a look if you’re in London and let me know what you think!