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.
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