Venice derives its power and beauty from the sea.

Our new international exhibition explores this relationship through objects and artworks from Venetian museums and Australian collections.

Seeking refuge from invasion, the first Venetians fled to the lagoon islands. The islands were prone to flooding and had few natural resources, but the Venetians turned their weakness into their greatest strength by becoming a maritime people. They used their merchant ships and navy to create a global trading empire, transforming into a maritime republic of great wealth and stability that was the wonder and envy of Europe. 

They poured their wealth into building a unique city on the sea, bringing with it protection but also the occasional threat. 

Culture and power intertwine to tell the story of Venice, with the sea as the main character. 

Explore the legend of Venice, its commanders, rulers and seafarers.

Main image: View of Venice, Rio dei Mendicanti, Giovanni Antonio Canal called Canaletto, 1724–1726. Ca’ Rezzonico – Museo del Settecento Veneziano

Produced by the Australian National Maritime Museum in association with Expona and Contemporanea Progetti.

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