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For most people, Canaletto is the artist who depicted Venice – the painter of some of the best known and most beautiful views of his home city. But for nearly ten years he was an adopted English artist chronicling a society which, unlike Venice, was changing at an unimaginable pace.

A new exhibition opening to the public on Saturday will for the first time bring together paintings Canaletto produced in Britain. Unlike previous shows, it will examine his stay between 1746 and 1755 in a social as well as an art history context.

“He is painting a new, vibrant and confident Britain,” said the show’s curator, Steven Parissien. “Things are looking good in Britain and it often takes an outsider to see it.

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