Guardi’s brushwork is nervous and flickering, his figures painted with rapid dashes of paint, sometimes seemingly out of scale with the setting and he seems far more concerned with the effects of changing weather than did his rival. Francesco Guardi came from a family of painters, the most important of whom was his older brother, Antonio (1699–1760). At the beginning of his career, Francesco painted subject pictures, altarpieces and mythologies, in his brother’s studio. On occasion they collaborated, such as is likely in Erminia and the Shepherds (National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.) painted in the 1750s. Francesco had already developed a fluid style, with broken brushstrokes and a slightly exaggerated elegance in the drawing of figures.
From our journal
Books on Francesco Guardi
Alberto Craievich and Filippo Pedrocco, ed., Francesco Guardi 1712-1793, exh. cat., Milan, 2012.
Luigina Rosssi Bortolatto, L’Opera Completa di Francesco Guardi, Milan, 1999.
Dario Succi, Francesco Guardi: Itinerario dell’Avventura Artistica, Milan, 1993.
Jane Martineau and Andrew Robison, ed., The Glory of Venice: Art in the Eighteenth Century, exh. cat., New Haven, 1994.
Antonio Morassi, Guardi: I Dipinti, Milan, 1973 reprinted 1993.
George Simonson, Francesco Guardi 1712-1793, London, 1904.