Small figures – traders returning home from market or a fishing trip – animate this little scene, but also serve as a measure of scale, alerting us to the size of the ruins. This is an imaginary scene known as a capriccio, but Guardi took inspiration from known buildings – the arch with a suspended lantern may be derived from the arcade of the Doge’s Palace in Venice (though it has been exaggerated, as is appropriate in a capriccio).
Guard has used fluid brushstrokes and thin paint layers, with pen-like details for the buildings. He produced these kinds of pictures in large numbers in his studio in Venice throughout the 1770s and 1780s as popular souvenirs for tourists.
Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.
License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.
This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.
Examples of non-commercial use are:
The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.
As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.
You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.