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Panaromic View of the Bacino di San Marco, Looking up the Giudecca Canal

Artist:
Francesco Guardi (Italian, Venice 1712–1793 Venice)
Date:
1780–93
Medium:
Pen and brown ink, light brown wash, on two sheets of paper, joined.
Dimensions:
13 3/4 x 26 5/8 in. (34.9 x 67.6 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.1.342
Not on view
Francesco Guardi succeeded Canaletto as the leading view painter in Venice in the second half of the eighteenth century. A prolific draftsman, his early drawings owe a debt to Canaletto's topographical style, while later sheets show a greater sensitivity to the changing light and atmosphere. Considered one of Guardi's "most beautiful and ambitious drawings," this expansive cityscape creates a broad perspective with an economy of lively brush and pen lines. The Giudecca Island is shown on the left, while Santa Maria della Salute and the entrance to the Grand Canal appear at right. A regatta is in progress. Although rendered at a distance in perspectival scale, many historic monuments are readily identified in the frieze of Venetian architecture. As no single vantage point could take in such an amplified vista, Guardi seems to have incorporated elements from several earlier topographical studies. The Lehman drawing was preparatory to Guardi's late painting of the subject ("Regatta in the Bacino di San Marco", Alte Pinakothek, Munich), its parading gondolas also suitably festooned in festival regalia.
Lady Catherine Ashburnham, Battle Abbey, Sussex; Ashburnham sale, Sotheby's, London, June 24, 1953, lot 54.
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