Francesco Guardi

Venetian Capriccio: View of a Square and a Palace

Venetian Capriccio: View of a Square and a Palace
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Author: Francesco Guardi
Landscape, Painting, Oil on canvas, 27x23 cm
Origin: Italy, Between 1775 and 1780

Some small corner of a town seen from beneath an arch looming in the foreground is a common motif in Guardi's famous series of capriccios. These corners and courtyards are always recognizable as Venice, although none of them are depictions of particular scenes, being pure improvisation.

In the Hermitage painting, opening up beyond the arch is a sunlit square edged by an old palazzo with a high staircase. There are a number of passers-by on the square, their tiny figures painted in a sketchy manner. The sunlight gilds the walls, turning the stone to precious metal and above all is the transparent cloudy sky. With light brushstrokes the artist managed to convey the sensation of Venice's changing atmosphere, creating a poetic image in which reality of everyday life and romantic theatricality are combined.

Source of entry: Collection of V. P. Kostromitinova, St Petersburg, 1895
School: Venetian

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