Francesco Guardi in Venice: an extraordinary exhibition with more than 100 works

From 28 September 2012 to 17 February 2013

From 28 September 2012 until 6 January 2012 the Venice Museum Correr will house a fascinating monographic exhibition dedicated to Francesco Guardi, the last great landscape artist of the 18th century. Considered one the greatest events in Venice in 2012, the exhibition celebrates the third centenary of the birth of Francesco Guardi by showcasing many of the works of this artist that cover several phases of his artistic and multifaceted work, from the figure paintings of his youth to the famous interior scenes through the suggestive views of Venice and his imaginative capriccios that he painted in his maturity and later years. Francesco Guardi undertook his apprenticeship in Venice in the familys workshop in the company of his father and two brothers modest painters who never achieved anything in their life apart from a modest level of prosperity. Francesco Guardi himself fell into oblivion after his death in Venice in 1973 and his works only became known and appreciated by the public in 1965, thanks to an exhibition housed in the renowned Palazozo Grassi in Venice.

The exhibition at Museo Correr will present more than 100 works, including paintings and drawings of Francesco Guardi, housed in the major museums in the world and brought to Venice especially for this extraordinary exhibition. The Brera Art Gallery in Milan, the Gemldegalerie in Berlin, the National Gallery in London, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York, the Muse du Louvre in Paris and the Hermitage of Saint Petersburg are just a few of the institutions that were involved in the setting up of this great exhibition in Venice.

The first part of the exhibition on Francesco Guardi will be dedicated to the figure works, which include the everyday life scenes inspired by Pietro Longhi. The exhibition will present two works from this early period of Guardis activity: The Ridotto and The Parlour of the nuns at San Zaccaria. The second section of the Venice exhibition in Venice will show Francesco Guardis first landscape views, painted together with his capriccios and fantasy landscapes. Guardis first landscape works are influenced by Canaletto and Marieschi, still a long way from the bright and shorthand tones that would make him famous.

In some of the works one can already notice Francesco Guardis unique style, such as St Marks Square belonging to the National Gallery in London, in which figures reveal a strong colourful touch. Between 1770 and 1780 Francesco Guardi enjoyed his period of greatest success, with his works on the Feste Dogali, now in the Louvre, in which Francesco Guardis transfiguring force and fantasy are highly evident. Amongst these works, the famous painting the Bucentaur at San Nicol on the Lido exudes with fascination and emotions. In 1872 Francesco Guardi had his first official commissions: four paintings to commemorate the visit of Pope Pius Vi to Venice, followed by the celebratory canvasses of the visit to Venice of the Russian archdukes. Over time, Francesco Guardis unique and original style became increasingly free and veiled. In his paintings proportions were deliberately altered, perspective lost contact with reality and figures became more and more blurred. Themes in Francesco Guardis works include capriccios, pictures of splendid villas in the Venetian countryside and picturesque views of Venice and others of the lagoon, in which the horizon is slowly dissolving until water and sky can no longer be distinguished.

An exceptional selection of works from the most prestigious institutions in the world will be brought to Venice to celebrate Francesco Guardi: after three hundred years since his birth, an exhibition in Venice recalls all the magic and emotions of his paintings.

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By Insidecom Editorial Staff