The research which is presented in this paper is related to a lighting topic and part of an architectural project for a pavilion at the Biennale of Venice, used for modern art exhibitions. The building is located along a Venetian canal: the roof form is curved in a way to allow daylight, reflected by the water, to penetrate in the lower part of the building, determining the atmosphere for the sculpture exhibition. In the upper part of the building, where the rooms have a barrel-shaped roof, we want to provide good diffuse lighting to emphasise the quality of the materials and colors of paintings. Starting point is a study of lighting techniques related to a temporary exhibition of modern art. Special attention will be paid to some considerations concerning the question of conservation, the integration of artificial lighting and daylighting, the modelling effects of light and its color performance as well as the effect of light. The study has been carried out testing (full-) scale models in the Lighting Laboratory at the University College of London.