An Architectural Caprice

Various features of the scene are drawn from Venetian architecture. The arch itself recalls that of the Torre dell'Orologio and the building in the middle distance, with the staircase, is a free adaptation of the internal façade of the Doge's Palace and the Scala dei Giganti.

A drawing of the composition, which probably formed the basis for this painting, exists (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art). The view was engraved by Dionigi Valesi in Venice, in about 1778. It may be related as a pendant to some other similar picture by Guardi.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
1712 - 1793
Full title
An Architectural Caprice
Date made
1770-8
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
54.2 x 36.2 cm
Inscription summary
Signed
Acquisition credit
Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number
NG2523
Location in Gallery