THIS month brings the chance to sit back and relax and watch a fascinating film about the life of one of the most talented painters of all time.

Giovanni Antonio Canal- better known, of course, as Canaletto, will be the focus of the film, set to be shown at the Chelmsford picturehouse, Cramphorn Theatre in Fairfield Road, Chelsmsford on January 18.

The film is the latest instalment from the Exhibition on Screen gallery-film series and brings an impeccable overview and account of Canaletto – the immensely popular 18th-century specialist in the Venetian cityscapes.

No artist better captures the essence and allure of Venice than Canaletto’s, yet despite his close relationship with the city in which he lived and died, the world’s largest collection of his works resides not in his native Italy, but in Britain as part of the Royal Collection.

The film takes its cue from the show currently running at the Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace. Partly and tit acts as a real-experience facsimile – like all those theatre and opera retransmissions – that mean culture vultures who can’t get to the exhibition at least have a chance to see some of it.

The remarkable group of over 200 paintings, drawings and prints on display offer unparalleled insight into the artistry of

Canaletto and his contemporaries, and the city he became a master at capturing. The film also offers

the chance to step inside two official royal residences - Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle - to

learn more about the artist, and Joseph Smith, the man who introduced Canaletto to Britain.

From London, Canaletto & the Art of Venice will travel to the great Italian city to explore the origins of

Canaletto’s art. Whilst appearing to be faithful representations of the city, Canaletto's skill came from

his manipulation of reality. He moved buildings around or opened up vistas to create the perfect

composition, and his paintings of Venice were highly sought after by Grand Tourists. His playful

imagination extended into a new genre in which he excelled. The 'capriccio' combined real and

fantasy architecture into imagined views. In this sense, Canaletto is more than a topographical artist -

he is a master storyteller.

Cinema-goers will embark on their very own 21st century Grand Tour, visiting the sites enjoyed by

their 18th century counterparts and immortalised in Canaletto’s views - from the Rialto Bridge to the

Piazza San Marco, and the Palazzo Ducale to the Church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo. Guided by Royal

Collection Trust curators and the world’s leading experts in Venetian history, the film is not only a

wonderful way to see the exhibition, but an opportunity to get closer to Canaletto and the city that

inspired him.

Exhibition on Screen’s offerings have played across the UK, including here in Essex where Monet, andbecome solid, comprehensive accounts of artists and their period.

Working with top international museums and galleries, EXHIBITION ON SCREEN create films

which offer a cinematic immersion into the world’s best loved art, accompanied by insights from the

world's leading historians and arts critics. Since launching in 2011, EXHIBITION ON SCREEN have

released 16 films which have been shown in over 50 countries worldwide.

For further information and details of screenings, visit