The Grand Canal above the Rialto

Francesco Guardi Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 644

Guardi depicts Venice’s Rialto Bridge with the Palazzo dei Camerlenghi at center and a vegetable market beneath a series of canopies on the right. The seemingly arbitrary cropping of buildings creates an effect of snapshot-like immediacy; the open windows tempt the eye inside, even as the composition unfolds across the vista of the Grand Canal with its flurry of gondolas. This work, which was among the earliest purchased by The Met, in 1871, was conceived as one of a pair, with a pendant view representing the church of Santa Maria della Salute, located at the end of the Grand Canal.

The Grand Canal above the Rialto, Francesco Guardi (Italian, Venice 1712–1793 Venice), Oil on canvas

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