Francesco Guardi (Venice 1712-1793)
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Francesco Guardi (Venice 1712-1793)

A view of the Grand Canal, Venice, with the church of Santa Maria della Salute

Francesco Guardi (Venice 1712-1793)
A view of the Grand Canal, Venice, with the church of Santa Maria della Salute
oil on canvas, laid down
31 7/8 x 44 1/8 in. (81 x 112.1 cm.)
Moritz Freiherr von Königswarter (1838-1893), Vienna; (†) his sale, Eduard Schulte, Berlin, 20 November 1906, lot 30, where indicated to have been a pair with another lot in that sale.
Lorenz Zuckermandel (1847-1928), Berlin; (†) his sale, Helbing, Munich, 5-6 June 1930, lot 377 (unsold), and presumably re-offered by his widow,
Elisabeth Zuckermandel, Tegernsee.
Anonymous sale [Z., Tegernsee]; Paul Graupe, Berlin, 20-21 October 1936, lot 20 (RM 1,650 to Melcher).

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Lot Essay

The composition of this imposing frontal view of Santa Maria della Salute derives from a print by Michele Marieschi, published in Venice in 1741 in his Magnificentiores Selectioresque Urbis Venetiarum Prospectus (fig. 1). It was normal practice for a Venetian view painter to take inspiration from graphic sources, and Francesco Guardi reinterpreted the compositional ideas of both Canaletto and Marieschi on several occasions. Marieschi himself developed this view of the Salute from an imaginary fondamenta more than once, the most remarkable example being the painting in The Art Institute of Chicago, with figures by Antonio Guardi.

Guardi develops Marieschi’s composition by reinventing the space and the proportions, expanding the sky, adding lively macchiette and readjusting architectural details drawn from his personal observations. He refers back to Marieschi’s prototype on at least two other occasions, each time with substantial changes to the figures and the boats (Vienna, Akademie der bildenden Künste, 72.5 x 80.5 cm.; Baltimore, The Baltimore Museum of Art, 92 x 130 cm.). When this picture came up for sale in 1906 it was offered with its pendant The Grand Canal, Venice, with the Rialto Bridge and Palazzo Camerlenghi (present location unknown).

Bozena Anna Kowalczyk confirms the attribution to Francesco Guardi and suggests a date around 1765-70 (written communication, 8 April 2009), more recently she has proposed an earlier dating. Dario Succi also independently confirms the attribution, and suggests a date around 1765 (written communication).

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