Veduta dell’Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore (1765-1775)

Guardi, Francesco (1712-1793)

Veduta dell’Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore (View of the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore)
Oil on canvas, 43 x 61 cm
Hermitage MuseumSaint Petersburg

Master of the townscape -known as vedute in Italian- Guardi painted many views of the island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice. At the end of the 10th century what was to become one of the richest monasteries in Venice was founded here, but the complex was given a sense of completeness with its reconstruction by the leading 16th-century Italian architect Andrea Palladio. The Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, built according to Palladio’s design (1559-80), is one of his best works. Guardi shows the island from the embankment by the Doges’ Palace, from where the façade of the church is best seen. The transparent sky with its light clouds almost melts on the horizon into the calm water, across which gondolas skim lightly. In the foreground to the left is the mast of a fishing boat with sails lowered, repeating the vertical of the bell tower. The whole is balanced by the high rectangular sail of another boat at the front of the painting. (SHM)

See also:

• San Giorgio Maggiore (Venezia)