Modern Perspectives


To coincide with the Sainsbury Wing exhibition Venice: Canaletto and His Rivals, the National Gallery invited Ben Johnson to paint one of London’s most iconic locations – Trafalgar Square. Johnson completed his painting in public, giving visitors an insight into the his working methods.

For ‘Modern Perspectives’ Johnson based his painting on the rigorous geometric composition of the National Gallery Canaletto, The Stonemason’s Yard, about 1725. Like his Venetian predecessor, he subtly manipulates the topography to create an ideal view.