Piazza San Marco (1760s)

Guardi, Francesco (1712-1793)

Piazza San Marco
late 1760s
Oil on canvas, 68.9 x 85.7 cm
Metropolitan Museum of ArtNew York

This view can be compared to Canaletto’s of the same location painted forty years prior. Guardi’s technique is far looser and less adherent to the geometric ordering of the square, its pavement, and facades. Guardi employs a playful, illusionistic device by signing his name in the miniature canvas being carried by the man at lower right. It seems to depict something otherwise absent in this view of San Marco: gondolas and the choppy water of Venice’s famous canals. (MET)

See also:

• Piazza San Marco (Venezia)