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After Canaletto, Francesco Guardi (1712-1793), was the most prominent painter of Venetian views in the 18th century.
As a painter of cityscapes, Guardi first stepped into fill the void left by Canaletto’s departure for London in 1746. Early on, the influence of Canaletto was clear. But as Guardi found his feet, his works became much more evanescent, in a style known as pittura di tocco – painting of touch, dots and dashes rather than solid strokes. It was an approach that made him a favourite, 150 years later, with the Impressionists.
Canaletto’s Venice was a crisp vision of fairy-tale architecture, and perfectly composed scenes. Guardi offered an altogether more unsettling view of the city, with great banks of storm clouds gathering menacingly, billowing smoke darkening the horizon and gondolas tossed on choppy lagoons.
It was his looser style and freely imagined architecture that set him apart from Canaletto.
There are now five paintings by Guardi in our collection, swipe for our gallery:
🖼 View towards Murano from the Fondamente Nuove, Venice.
🖼 Forte S. Andrea Del Lido, Venice (detail)
🖼 The Island of Anconetta, Venice (detail)
🖼 View Near Venice (detail)
🖼 A capriccio: ruined building by the coast, with figures. - This painting is a new acquisition and is our finest example of his imaginary subjects on display now.
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