This picture and the following lot are rare examples of vedute executed by Guardi on copper plates. Only a few other works on this support are recorded: the San Giorgio Maggiore with the Punta della Giudecca and the Ponte Rialto with the Riva del Vin (both 33 x 41.5 cm.), which Morassi dates to circa 1770-80 (A. Morassi, Guardi, Venice, 1973, I, p. 390, nos. 423 and 542, incorrectly listed as on leather), in the collection of Mme. F. Bemberg, Paris; a Capriccio of a lagoon (11 x 14 cm.) in the Leventis Collection, Nicosia; and a Capriccio with a gothic sottoportico painted on an engraver’s plate (13 x 18.5 cm.), sold in these Rooms, 10 July 1987, lot 123, and which Morassi incorrectly listed as on panel (op. cit., p. 458, no. 797). The choice of support and small format facilitated the transport of these vedute throughout Europe and would therefore have particularly appealed to the foreign Grand Tour visitor. This interest towards a foreign clientele, as well as the fluid handling, indicate a dating to the 1770s.
The view of the Dogana (lot 214) held an inevitable appeal to those who visited the Republic. As a result, Guardi produced a large number of variants of the composition, some of which extend the view to the right to include the Church of Santa Maria della Salute. On the other hand, the Punta di Santa Marta is uncommon in the artist’s oeuvre and this copper appears to be a unique treatment of the view. A wider view of the Punta, executed on canvas, was offered at Sotheby’s, London, 6 July 2000, lot 234.
We are grateful to Charles Beddington for confirming the attribution after inspection of the original and for his assistance with this catalogue entry.