Venice, a view of the Rialto Bridge by Francesco Guardi
Sale L11033 Old Master and British Paintings Evening Sale - London
July 6, 2011
Sotheby’s Lot Notes –
“PROPERTY FROM AN ENGLISH PRIVATE COLLECTION
VENICE 1712 - 1793
VENICE, A VIEW OF THE RIALTO BRIDGE, LOOKING NORTH, FROM THE FONDAMENTA
oil on canvas
120 by 203.7 cm.; 47 1/4 by 80 1/4 in.
This remarkable painting is a masterpiece by Francesco Guardi, impressive not only for its imposing dimensions but also for its extraordinary pictorial quality. In terms of its importance within the oeuvre of the painter, it ranks alongside three other works, all painted at around the same time, which together constitute the pinnacle of Guardi's output as a painter of vedute; one of these was, until recently, in the same ownership, one is now destroyed and the other is in a private collection.
Guardi would never again paint on such a scale as this. Although he had previously painted two larger canvases (Waddesdon Manor), they were executed several years earlier in the artist's most youthful style, and are lacking the moody exuberance, the impressionistic handling and virtuoso brushwork so evident here. The painting recalls the early vedute of Canaletto which themselves are characterised by an intensity and a focus on atmosphere and passing weather conditions that disappears in his later, more schematic work. This painting and its pendant encapsulate all the very best qualities of this titan of vedutismo and they can, without any hesitancy, be considered amongst the greatest and most imposing of all Venetian vedute.”
Estimated price: £15,000,000 - £25,000,000
Price realized: £26,697,250
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