The view has been identified as the Porta del Dolo thanks to an inscription, which Morassi suspects is by the artist himself, on a drawing of the subject in the Museo Correr in Venice (fig. 1): ‘veduta della Porta del Dolo per andar a Padova’.2 The drawing corresponds precisely to the horizontal painting of the subject in a private collection, London.3 The other horizontal painted version is recorded by Morassi as in the collection of E. Assheton-Bennett, while the three other vertical versions are those in the Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon; the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; and a painting formerly in the collection of Baron Henri de Rothschild, Paris.4 The present version, comfortably the largest of the six, is particularly animated, with a large number of rapidly-painted figures on and around the bridge and at work on a barge beneath it. It is unusually colourful too, Guardi adding accents of red, yellow and blue to the staffage and, though lit from the same angle as the other versions, the lighting is rather more dramatic here, resulting in a greater contrast between sky and foreground.
1. Morassi 1993, vol. I, cat. no. 669, reproduced vol. II, fig. 625.
2. A. Morassi, Guardi. Tutti I disegni, Venice 1975, p. 152, cat. 415, reproduced fig. 418.
3. Morassi 1993, vol. I, p. 435, cat. no. 672, reproduced vol. II, fig. 629.
4. Respectively Morassi 1993, vol. I, cat. nos 673, 674, 675, 677, reproduced vol. II, figs. 630–33. The latter was sold London, Christie’s, 8 December 2006, lot 135.
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