Venice (It., Venezia), city and seaport in northeast Italy, in Veneto Region, capital of Venice. Province Venice is situated on 120 islands formed by 177 canals in the lagoon between the mouths of the Po and Piave rivers, at the northern extremity of the Adriatic Sea. Because of its historic role as a naval power and commercial center, the city is known as the "Queen of the Adriatic". For centuries the most common method of transport was by gondola, a flat-bottomed boat propelled by a single oar. Today, the gondolas are used mainly by tourists.
Venice is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The city buildings and decorations, from Byzantine to Renaissance styles, show great artistic achievement. The works of the Venetian school are represented throughout Venetian palaces, public buildings, and churches.The most frequented part of the city is St Mark's Square. At the eastern end are St Mark's Cathedral and the Doge's Palace (Palazzo Ducale), the two most important and imposing structures in Venice. Near the Doge's Palace stand two famous granite columns erected in 1180, one bearing the winged lion of St Mark and the other St Theodore of Studium on a crocodile. The most conspicuous feature of the city is the campanile, or bell tower, of St Mark, which is about 91 m (300 ft) high.
Canaletto, real name Giovanni Antonio Canal (1697-1768), Italian painter, known for his sparkling views of Venice. He was born in Venice on October 28, 1697, and died there on April 19, 1768. Canaletto received instruction in painting and perspective from his father, a scene designer in the high Baroque tradition. The veduta (city view), a relatively new and rare form of painting at the time, became his specialty. His principal patrons were English aristocrats on the Grand Tour, for whom his scenes were souvenirs of the sights of Venicethe Grand Canal, the basin of St Mark's, countless scenes of regattas and water festivals, such as the annual celebration of the Marriage of Venice to the Sea.
Guardi, Francesco (1712-1793), Italian painter, the best-known member of a family of painters that included Giovanni Antonio, Francesco's brother. Francesco was most famous for his Rococo landscapes of Venice. (Source: Microsoft Encarta 96)
Other paintings displayed are works of the Italian painters Vanvitelli (1653-1736) and Caffi (1809 - 1866) and of the Romanian painter Nicolae Darascu. The background reproduces a detail of the inside floor of the St Mark's Cathedral, XIII Century.