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Castle in the spotlight a masterpiece by Bellotto

Online programme from Monday 29 March

On display from Monday 17 May – 4 July 2021

From 17 May a very special painting goes on display in the Colman Project Space at Norwich Castle. Castle in the spotlight: a masterpiece by Bellotto from the National Gallery, London provides visitors with a wonderful opportunity to explore one of the most original and impressive examples of 18th-century landscape painting: Bernardo Bellotto’s The Fortress of Königstein from the North.

Painted in c. 1756-8, this monumental painting (measuring over 2m in length) was saved for the nation in 2017 with support from Art Fund and other donors. To celebrate its acquisition, the National Gallery has loaned the painting to a number of institutions, including Norwich Castle, so that audiences around the country can appreciate this important masterpiece.

In anticipation of its arrival in Norwich, staff have created an exciting online programme of activities for children and families of all ages, available from Monday 29 March.

In the Picture…Out of the House features a fascinating community video which compares and contrasts how a variety of different people think and feel about Bellotto’s painting, and we are excited to introduce for the first time both a Signalong and a non-verbal response from an artist. These sit alongside the thoughts of a three-year-old and a National Gallery Curator, amongst others.

The accompanying activity sheet, Castles, Bellotto and Baked Beans investigates the painting further, exploring notions of big and small and introducing the fascinating array of castles in our very own county of Norfolk.

Adults can explore the artistic techniques and historical context of the painting in more depth in a film presented by our Senior Curator, Dr Francesca Vanke.

Introducing a Masterpiece by Bernardo Bellotto

You can come and see the painting for yourself when the museum opens its doors again on 17 May.

Booking information:

Entry will be by advance booking only. Exhibitions included in museum admission. Tickets are on sale from 7 May 2021. Tickets must be pre-booked online at least one day in advance. No tickets will be available on the door.

Book via Art Tickets

Measures have been put in place to ensure the safety of visitors and staff. Visit our website for more information.


Image credit: Bernardo Bellotto, The Fortress of Königstein from the North, about 1756-8 © The National Gallery, London, Oil on canvas, 132.1 × 236.2 cm

Bought with the support of the American Friends of the National Gallery, The National Gallery Trust, the Estate of Mrs Madeline Swallow, Art Fund (with a contribution from The Wolfson Foundation), Howard and Roberta Ahmanson, The Deborah Loeb Brice Foundation, The Manny and Brigitta Davidson Charitable Foundation, The Sackler Trust and through private appeal, 2017