Francesco Guardi (Venice 1712-1793)
These lots have been imported from outside the EU … Read more PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE COLLECTOR (LOT 246)
Francesco Guardi (Venice 1712-1793)

A capriccio of ruined buildings, with cypresses and figures by an arch

Details
Francesco Guardi (Venice 1712-1793)
A capriccio of ruined buildings, with cypresses and figures by an arch
oil on canvas
22 x 16¾ in. (55.9 x 42.5 cm.)
Provenance
European private collection, acquired circa 1900 and by descent until,
Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 9 April 2003, lot 116 (£274,050).
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, New York, 28 January 2010, lot 227 ($362,500 to the present owner).
Special notice

These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

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Lot Essay

Among Guardi’s most characteristic capricci are those that show arches and gateways. This sparkling example, unknown until 2003 and thus not recorded by Antonio Morassi, belongs to a group of seven compositions (for the others see A. Morassi, Guardi, Venice, 1971, I, nos. 966-71, II, figs. 846, 855, 852, unillustrated, 851 and 850 respectively): of these two, one in the National Gallery, London and the second formerly in the Mont collection, New York (ibid. nos. 966 and 967), both smaller, are of vertical format, while the others are horizontal, extending the composition significantly on the right. The London picture shows an almost identical house through the vaulted archway, two similarly placed figures in the right foreground, although these are less dramatically silhouetted against the sunlit wall behind them, and two others, one also with a staff, but differently posed on the right. As the position of the lantern in this and the National Gallery picture indicates, the design of the archway was evolved from that of the portico of the Ducal Palace at Venice: Morassi (nos. 774-81) records eight vertical capricci based on this, one of which, formerly with Speelman (no. 778, fig. 771) shows the lantern in the corresponding position. The picture is presumably close in date to the smaller variant in the National Gallery, which Michael Levey dated to the mid-1770s.

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