Francesco Guardi, ‘Piazza San Marco’, Phillips Collection

Image rights: Courtesy of The Phillips Collection

About Francesco Guardi

Born to a family of painters in Venice, Italy, Francesco Guardi was among the last painters of the Venetian School. Best known for his veduta paintings—highly detailed, large-scale depictions of Italian vistas—Guardi followed in the footsteps of his father and brother and, most notably, the 18th-century Venetian painter Canaletto. In his brother's workshop, Guardi painted figure paintings, but in 1760 would transitioned to create his signature view paintings, which were similar to Canaletto’s in their architecture and city scenes, but with a more imaginative perspective and a freer, less intricate handling of paint. Although incorporating elements of topographical accuracy, Guardi often rearranged the architecture within his compositions to create capriccio-style, fantastical scenes, marked by his painterly dotting and spirited brushstrokes which brilliantly captured the atmosphere and light of the city.

Italian, 1712-1793, Venice, Italy, based in Venice, Italy