Lot 88
  • 88

Francesco Guardi

500,000 - 700,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Francesco Guardi
  • Venice, a view of the Piazzetta looking south with the Palazzo Ducale
  • signed lower left, beneath the standard-bearer: F.co Guardi
  • oil on canvas
  • 18 1/8  by 25 3/4  in.; 47 by 65.4 cm.


Eugène Fischhof collection, Paris;
E. Arnholt, Berlin;
H.G. Sohl collection, Düsseldorf.


A. Morassi, Guardi: Antonio e Francesco Guardi, Venice 1973, vol. I, p. 382, cat. no. 380, reproduced vol. II, fig. 403;
L. Rossi Bortolatto, L’opera completa di Francesco Guardi, Milan 1974, p. 101, cat. no. 187, reproduced p. 100.

Catalogue Note

Francesco Guardi’s View of the Piazzetta looking south with the Palazzo Ducale was first published in 1973 by Antonio Morassi, who dated it between 1755 and 1760. Guardi chose to depict the bustling Piazzetta from the Campanile di San Marco, looking out at the Bacino di San Marco toward the Isola di San Giorgio. From this viewpoint he was able to take in the iconic façade of the Palazzo Ducale while incorporating the southern-most arch of the Basilica di San Marco at left and the columns of San Marco and San Teodoro to the right. The composition is almost identical to Guardi’s canvas now in the Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna (inv. no. 503).1 The Vienna canvas is less intimate in size, measuring 28 ½  by 30 ¾  in.; 72.5 by 80.5 cm. and is accompanied by a pendant, also in the museum’s collection (inv. no. 603), painted from the same corner of the Basilica and looking towards what is now the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana.2  

The two Vienna views once formed part of a set of four paintings, together with a View of Piazza San Marco looking towards San Geminiano and a View of the Molo towards Riva degli Schiavoni with the Ponte della Paglia, both now in Swiss private collections.3 The set, painted by Guardi around 1745-50, is based on a group of Canaletto engravings, executed shortly prior in 1741-43. While the architectural templates and viewpoints adhere to Canaletto’s compositions of the early ‘40s, curiously Guardi’s brushwork harks back to Canaletto’s much earlier paintings from around 1725-30.4 That perhaps helps to explain why the present painting by Guardi, though dating to 1755-60, reprises a style of Canaletto from some thirty years earlier.

We are grateful to Charles Beddington for endorsing the attribution following first-hand inspection.


1. For the Vienna painting see A. Morassi under Literature, vol. I, pp. 381-382, cat. no. 379, reproduced vol. II, fig. 402.
2. Ibid., vol. I, p. 382, cat. no. 384, reproduced vol. II, fig. 405.
3. Ibid., vol. I, p. 375, cat. no. 344, p. 388, cat. no. 413, reproduced vol. II, figs. 371 and 433 respectively.
4. Ibid., vol. I, p. 382.