Lot 104
  • 104

Francesco Guardi

180,000 - 220,000 EUR
bidding is closed


  • Francesco Guardi
  • View of Campo San Zanipolo with the Loggia erected on the occasion of the blessing of Pope Pius VI
  • Oil on canvas
  • 36 x 30,5 cm ; 14 1/4  by 12 in


Christie’s, London, 30 November 1973, lot 45 (as ‘Francesco Guardi. A view of the Scuola di San Marco);
Christie’s, London, 27 June 1975, lot 30 (as ‘Francesco Guardi. Campo SS.Giovanni Paolo);
Private English Collection.

Catalogue Note

During the 1750s, Francesco Guardi sought to diversify his art and move away from Canaletto's classic views, by taking an interest in untapped places in the city. Thirty-two years later, Pietro Edwards, the superintendent of Fine Arts in Venice, brought the ideal opportunity as he commissioned four canvases depicting the main events from Pope Pius VI's visit to the Serenissima between May 15th and 19th, 1782.
These four paintings and their variants, representing The Meeting of Pope Pius VI and Doge Paolo Renier at San Giorgio in Alga, Pontifical Ceremony in the SS Giovanni e Paolo, Pope Pius VI Descending the Throne to Take Leave of the Doge in the Hall of SS, and Pope Pius VI Blessing the Crowd in the Campo di San Zanipolo, are currently housed at the Museum of Art in Philadelphia, the Milanese collections at the Cleveland Museum of Fine Art, and the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.
Our painting is a version of Ashmolean's, entitled Pope Pius VI Blessing the Crowd in the Campo SS Giovanni e Paolo, Venice. The exalted audience was set aside by the painter for the benefit of scattered passers-by in a golden palette, typical of the artist during the 1780s. The viewpoint is identical, but similar to the Scuala Grande di San Marco, on which one can see the stairwell and balcony erected on the occasion of the Pope's arrival. This composition preserved the spirit in pen and ink of the two preparatory drawings for this oil on canvas, in the collections of Pierre Decourcelle and of Korner in London.
The existence of four other examples of the same subject, found at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, Modiano Collection in Bologna, and a private collection in Bergamo, proves the popularity of this subject in its time.