The Wallace Collection


Collection Blog

Funding the Vedute Project

The Wallace Collection is delighted to announce that it has received a grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, as part of the company’s global Art Conservation Project, to conserve two major paintings by Canaletto.

Giovanni António Canal (1697 – 1768), commonly known as Canaletto, is probably the most well-known practitioner of the Italian Vedute – topographical landscapes, typically showing a recognisable cityscape or view. His paintings of Venice, admired for their precision and detail, were extremely popular in eighteenth-century Britain, primarily owing to the Grand Tour tradition and the rise of the “souvenir” market.

The Wallace Collection houses as many as 28 Venetian Vedutes, not just by Canaletto, but also by Francesco Guardi and other contemporaries.These are all exhibited together in one of the most popular galleries of the museum. The two works that will be conserved with the grant easily stand out in this space, as they are unusually large and form a pendant, showing the Bacino di San Marco from opposite vantage points.

The work on these paintings will be carried out by the Hamilton Kerr Institute in Cambridge, where they will not only focus on removing the grime and old varnish but will also conduct scientific analysis using x-radiography and pigment sampling to interrogate fully Canaletto’s working methods. The conservation will bring back the true blue colour of Canaletto’s clear skies and give us a better understanding of spatial effects and perspective used by the artist. The Wallace Collection aims to raise the necessary funds to restore the other Vedute pictures in the collection, in order to restore the entire room to its former glory.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Art Conservation Project supports museums throughout the world to conserve historically or culturally significant works of art. The programme has been running since 2010 and has now funded over 100 projects in 29 countries. The Wallace Collection counts itself incredibly lucky to have been chosen as one of the grant recipients in 2016.

Andrea Sullivan, International Head of Environment, Social and Governance at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said: “We are pleased to partner with the Wallace Collection to support the conservation of these iconic paintings. At Bank of America Merrill Lynch we believe that maintaining a vibrant arts sector is crucial to ensuring strong communities and a robust economy. Our global and diverse programme of cultural support has been developed with this in mind.”

Dr Xavier Bray, Director of the Wallace Collection, said: “This grant is a fantastic opportunity for the Collection to launch our major conservation and research project of the Vedute paintings at the Wallace. We are extremely grateful to Bank of America Merrill Lynch for supporting this endeavour, and we look forward to sharing the results with the public.”

For more information on Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s global Art Conservation Project click here.


Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s programme of arts support reflects our belief that the arts matter. They help economies to thrive, individuals to connect with each other across cultures, and they educate and enrich societies. Our commitment to the arts is a key element of our responsible growth. Around the world, we support not-for-profit arts institutions that deliver both the visual and performing arts which provide inspirational educational programmes, open access for all communities, create jobs, and are pathways to greater cultural understanding. Learn more at, and connect with us on Twitter @BofAML. 2015 Bank of America Business Standards Report



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