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Francesco Guardi

Venice 1712 - 1793
Price range
250,000 – 3,000,000 USD +
Francesco Guardi can be paired with Canaletto as one of the two great view painters of eighteenth-century Venice. However, their style could not be more different.

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.

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Selected artworks

Top 3 auction prices

16,924,988 $
33,979,512 $
42,708,768 $


The sales are: Christie’s London – 8 Jul 2014 lot 19 (9,882,500 GBP), Christie’s London – 6 Jul 2017 lot 25 (26,205,000 GBP), and Sotheby’s London – 6 Jul 2011 lot 73 (26,697,250).
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From our journal
Notable exhibitions

Paris, Grand Palais, Éblouissante Venise! Venise, les arts et l’Europe au XVIIIe siècle, 26 September 2018 – 21 January 2019; travelled to Venice, Palazzo Ducale, 23 February – 9 June 2019.  Curated by Catherine Loisel.

Venice, Museo Correr, Francesco Guardi, 1712–1793, 28 September 2012 – 17 February 2013. Curated by Alberto Craievich and Filippo Pedrocco.

Washington D.C., National Gallery of ArtThe Glory of Venice: Art in the Eighteenth Century, 29 January – 23 April 1995; travelled to London, Royal Academy of Arts, 15 September 1994 – 14 December 1995. Curated by Andrew Robinson, Norman Rosenthal and Jane Martineau.

Venice, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Francesco Guardi: Vedute, Capricci, Feste, 28 August – 21 November 1993. Curated by Alessandro Bettagno.


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.

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