Thursday, December 27, 2012

Guardi, Francesco

View of the canal of the Giudecca
oil on canvas
72.2 x 119.3 cm
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain

Francesco, who was strongly influenced by Canaletto’s idealized views of the city, generally made preparatory drawings for his paintings. In this painting, Francesco provides a view of the Giudecca Canal, the waterfront promenade of Zattere, the churches of San Biagio and Santa Marta, and the Euganean Hills rising up in the distant background, behind the island of San Giorgio in Alga. The use of light and color are characteristic of eighteenth-century Venetian painting.

Francesco Lazzaro Guardi (1712 - 1793) was a Venetian painter of veduta (view), a member of the Venetian School. He was, after Canaletto, the main painter of views of Venice in the 18th century. Following Canaletto he recorded both the architecture of the city and the celebrations of its inhabitants in interior and exterior scenes. These works brought him great success. He is considered to be among the last practitioners of the classic Venetian school of painting.

Francesco was born in Venice into a family of lesser nobility from Trentino. While Francesco followed Canaletto in producing views or vedute, he soon developed his own style, based on a freer handling of paint. He took particular pleasure in rendering the vibrant atmosphere of Venetian light and its dazzling effect on water. His father and his brothers were also painters and they probably all contributed as a team to some of the larger commissions later attributed to Francesco.
Francesco died at Venice in 1793.