Venice in Peril!

Every January when London is grey and its inhabitants are a little jaded, W.H. Patterson hosted a special exhibition of Venetian paintings. The gallery walls were splashed with colour, light and a multitude of reflections, captured in all their glory, by contemporary and 19th century artists from all over the world. Over 21 years hundreds of artists worked with the gallery to put some fantastic shows on the walls of Number 19, Albemarle Street. The light and water in Venice lend a special quality to these paintings as artists with very many different styles, brushstrokes and techniques were brought together under one roof. Artists exhibiting with the gallery used their individual skills to portray interesting scenes and quirky corners of the City all imbuded with vibrant hues and colours.

View the full Venice in Peril collection

To many people Venice holds a special place in their heart. Personally, I have very special memories of my last visit in November 2009, with my newborn baby Harry. As I walked the cobbled streets with him, getting hopelessly lost down hidden canals (no real surprise there!) I was able to savour the beauty of the City through new eyes. As I stopped to feed my little bundle in cafes, the churches and squares of Venice revealed themselves to me in a new light. Once upon a time I would have explored from dawn till dusk, now Harry made me stop and appreciate another side of Venice. Not just the minute details of carvings on pews or light scattering through windows but the spirit of Venice, its life and its aura. One of my overriding feelings is Venice is “otherworldly.” It captures ones mind and spirit forever with a magical combination of beauty and passion. I imagined the stories, the people and the patronage that has allowed this remarkable place to evolve over the centuries.

With our move to Beauchamp Place somethings changed and one of them was this annual show.  A personal favourite of mine I have been very keen to bring something of the Spirit of that show back to Knightsbridge. So this year’s exhibition, albeit in a smaller format to its hayday, continues to show a superb collection of Venetian paintings. W.H.Patterson also have a longstanding relationship with Venice in Peril spanning several decades. Established in 1966 by the then Italian Ambassador, Sir Ashley Clarke, Venice in Peril, is a London based charity whose work is directed towards saving the beauty of Venice against the ravages of lagoon waters.

The floods in Venice are an age-old problem and the charity and its patrons work hard to restore some of the most beautiful monuments and architecture against the incessant rising waters. Over the last 40 years it has disbursed millions of pounds for ongoing restoration. The exhibition gives any visitor a real insight into this wonderous city where at every turn a new architectural and artistic journey unfolds. We hope you will enjoy sharing this journey with us.


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