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42

PROPERTY OF PIRANESEUM

Francesco Guardi
AN ARCHITECTURAL CAPRICCIO WITH A CHURCH TO THE LEFT
Estimate
30,00050,000
LOT SOLD. 37,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
42

PROPERTY OF PIRANESEUM

Francesco Guardi
AN ARCHITECTURAL CAPRICCIO WITH A CHURCH TO THE LEFT
Estimate
30,00050,000
LOT SOLD. 37,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Master Drawings

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New York

Francesco Guardi
VENICE 1712 - 1793
AN ARCHITECTURAL CAPRICCIO WITH A CHURCH TO THE LEFT
Pen and brown ink and wash over traces of black chalk
240 by 199 mm; 9 1/2  by 7 7/8  in
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Crisnoy de Lyonne (from H. Shickman Gallery label on backboard);
Sale, New York, Sotheby's, 25 January 2012, lot 102

Exhibited

San Francisco, SFO Airport Museum, All Roads Lead to Rome: 17th-19th Century Souvenirs from the Collection of Piraneseum, 2017 (reproduced, pp. 8-9)

Catalogue Note

Throughout his career, Guardi made paintings of views both real and imaginary, in equal measure. Indeed, his fantasy views include some of his most alluring compositions.  This particularly attractive and atmospheric drawing, with its free handling and great sense of light and movement, depicts one such capriccio, which is also known through a variant drawing in the Victoria and Albert Museum1 and through two painted versions, one in the Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, and the other in the National Gallery, London.2  Although the domed construction is derived in part from Palladio's unexecuted design for the Rialto Bridge, the other buildings seem to be pure imagination, as is the composition as a whole. In terms of details, it is the National Gallery painting (fig. 1) that is the closest to the present drawing.  Both it and the Victoria and Albert Museum drawing are considered by Morassi and others to be late works, dating from circa 1770-1780, and that would also appear to be the case for this drawing.  

At this late stage in his career, Guardi was a total master of light, and of the media with which he drew.  His totally confident and seemingly effortless lines combine with copious amounts of judiciously applied wash, to create an image of immense beauty.  Whether the view is real or imaginary, Guardi's drawings of this period capture the essence of Venice, her buildings and her light.

1. A. Morassi, Guardi, I Disegni, Venice 1975, p. 168, no. 509, reproduced fig. 508
2. A. Morassi, Guardi, I Dipinti, Venice 1993, vol. I, p. 450, nos. 754, 753, reproduced vol. II, figs. 689, 690

Old Master Drawings

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New York