Venice in Peril

2024 Kirker Spring lecture

in aid of Venice in Peril Fund


Caroline Campbell
, Director of the National Gallery of Ireland

Copyright: Christie's Images/Bridgeman Images, Venetian Canal, John Singer Sargent (1856-1925)

Tuesday 14 May 2024

Reception and Prosecco - 6.30pm*
Lecture - 7.15pm
*A glass of prosecco is included with your ticket

At Royal Geographical Society
1 Kensington Gore
London SW7 2AR

Tickets for this lecture will be posted by the end of April to the address given with your payment
All tickets are non-refundable


Ruskin famously wrote of the stones of Venice, but what of its water? Venice would be nothing without water. The lagoon and canals were the core of her trading activity and wealth, from the Middle Ages to the eighteenth century made manifest in the continuing annual tradition of the city's marriage to the sea. From the late 19th century, the Lido also became an important element of Venice's appeal and in particular as a tourist attraction.

In this, the 17th Venice in Peril Kirker Spring lecture, Caroline Campbell will explore the creative impulse of water - canal, river, lagoon, sea - in the work of Venetian artists and visitors to the city, from Carpaccio and Titian, Canaletto and Tiepolo, to John Singer Sargent, Thomas Mann and John Lavery.


Dr Caroline Campbell is Director of the National Gallery of Ireland. She was previously Director of Collections and Research at the National Gallery in London, a curator at the Ashmolean Museum, Curator of Paintings at the Courtauld Gallery, and the Jacob Rothschild Head of the Curatorial Department at the National Gallery, London.

Caroline Campbell has curated several exhibitions devoted to Venetian art, including All Spirit and Fire: Tiepolo's Oil Sketches (Courtauld Gallery, 2005); Bellini and the East (National Gallery and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, 2005-06); Bellini and Mantegna (National Gallery and Gemaldegalerie, Berlin, 2018-19). Her love for Venetian art was honed as an MA student of Jennifer Fletcher's at the Courtauld Institute of Art, and through the experience of working as Assistant Curator of the National Gallery's Titian exhibition in 2003.

Caroline Campbell has written widely on Renaissance art, in exhibition catalogues, academic publications and scholarly journals. Her first book, The Power of Art: A World History in Fifteen Cities, appeared in 2023. She is a Trustee of City and Guilds of London Art School, London, and of the Alfred Beit Foundation.