Venice from the Bacino di San Marco

Francesco Guardi Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 644

This is an early, important example of a view painting by Guardi, an artist one generation younger than Canaletto, whose work is nearby. It juxtaposes a relatively frontal lineup of buildings along Venice’s emblematic Piazza di San Marco, including the ducal palace and bell tower, with the flurry of activity on the water, enlivened by the intersection of masts, rigging, oars, and countless figures at work. In contrast to Canaletto’s clarity of light and solidity of form, Guardi’s looser paint handling encourages the imagination to fill in the gaps, resulting in a greater sense of animation.

Venice from the Bacino di San Marco, Francesco Guardi (Italian, Venice 1712–1793 Venice), Oil on canvas

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