If You Happen to be in London this Summer....

Old Master Paintings from a Private Collection to be Offered at Sotheby's on London.

The word Venice is, to many, evocative of grand canals and sleepy backwaters, lined with the facades of beautiful palazzi. What lies behind those facades, however, often remains a mystery.

Antonio Balestra (1666-1740) "Flora" Oil on Canvas

What lies behind those facades, however, often remains a mystery. Sotheby’s sale, the Splendour of Venice, to be held in London on Tuesday July 6, 2010, allows a glimpse into the dazzlingly beautiful world that existed inside some of Venice’s most splendid palazzi during some of the most prosperous and charmed years of the Venetian Republic.

The sale will consist of some 64 fine examples of Venetian painting and craftsmanship from the 17th and 18th centuries, put together over some 30 years by a private European family in order to adorn their palazzo in the Veneto region.

And if I win the Lottery between now and July 6 I'll be there. In the meantime, I hope to find the e-catalog - the link eludes me for now.

And if you're still in town, here's another show to see:

Caravaggio's "Friends and Foes" ~ A Major Exhibition at Whitfield Fine Art, London

Caravaggio was a man who made enemies easily. A quick tempered, intolerant artistic genius who was fond of a drink and prone to violence, he was frequently in trouble with the authorities and eventually fled Rome after being accused of murdering a former friend in a gang fight.

This uncouth upstart also outraged the artistic establishment by by-passing traditional training methods and giving young painters the idea that all they had to do was to put brush to palette and bare canvas. Yet he also had great friends and passionate followers and his revolutionary techniques inspired artists across Europe.

The extraordinary range of emotions aroused by Caravaggio is portrayed in Caravaggio’s Friends & Foes, a major loan exhibition held by Whitfield Fine Art through 23 July 2010.