Francesco Guardi (Venice, 1712-1793) was a famous Venetian painter. He is the most famous member of a family of artists in the 18th and 19th Centuries (his father Domenico, his brother Giannantonio, his son Giacomo).
Influenced by the figurative art of Sebastiano and Marco Ricci, the atmospheres of Magnasco of Genoa and the paintings of Giambattista Tiepolo, Guardi introduced a landscape painting style. He depicted Venice as a fantastic and decadent place, paying great attention to changes in atmosphere.
His emotion-charged and romantic views of the city led to a gradual move away from a classic perspective (such as seen in Canaletto’s works) and introduced suggestions of space supported by the light. All his paintings were of Venice and its lagoon.
He drew his landscapes with a very quick technique by “vibrating” the outlines to break them up.
His use of colour became increasingly lighter, creating radiant atmospheres. This can be seen in one of this masterpieces, Canal Grande in San Geremia, now in the Baltimore Museum of Art. Other works by Guardi are held in art museums around the world, from The Victoria and Albert Museum and The National Gallery in London, to the Staatliche Museen in Berlin and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the Alte Pinakothek in Munich to the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice (Allegorical Floats in St. Mark’s Square, 1782).
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