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Francesco Guardi, A View near Venice (?)

Key facts
Full title A View near Venice (?)
Artist Francesco Guardi
Artist dates 1712 - 1793
Date made probably 1775-80
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 20.7 × 30.8 cm
Acquisition credit Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number NG2520
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
A View near Venice (?)
Francesco Guardi

This is most likely a view of daily life in Venice during the second half of the eighteenth century, rather than an invented capriccio, though the actual site has not yet been identified. The Guidecca, Chioggia and Murano (districts and islands of Venice) have all been suggested.

Men chatting, women doing laundry and an animated boy and his dog give a sense of informality to what is actually a very structured composition. The steeply receding rooflines and the deep shadow cast across the ground lead us towards the waterfront, boats and distant buildings.

Guardi has used very thin paint to describe the foreground buildings which frame the square, with very sketchily dashed off lines giving a sense of windows and stonework.

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