This work from 1765 by Francesco Guardi is a magnificent example of the type of art produced by this magnificent Venetian painter, who like many other artists of his generation and from that origin he devoted himself to painting views or vedute of the Italian city of canals.
Actually, Guardi was part of a line of painters, and even his sister was the wife of one of the great Venetian artists of the time: Giambattista Tiépolo, author of important paintings in the great halls of the city, such as the work of Venice pays homage to Neptune of the Doge's Palace.
The gondola in the Guardi lagoon
In short, Francesco Guardi (1712 – 1793) spent many years of his life, specifically until 1760, working in the family workshop, which was headed by his brother, and not by him. Because the truth is that although we are dealing with a great master, his art was not highly valued in those days, and even less so if we compare him with the great vedutista of the city,Antonio Canal, Canaletto. To get an idea, the fees between one and the other were more or less double in favor of Canaletto. Or also as an example, it is enough to know that Guardi could not enter the Academy of Venetian Painters until he was 72.
And the truth is thatCanalettoand his great compositions have a very different character than the mostGuardi intimates. With extreme cases like this Gondola in the lagoon, although it also has other slightly more lively paintings, although equally very personal, such as the View of San Giorgio Maggiore.
But although the character of the painting is different from one to another, the truth is that Guardi is also a deeply rococo painter, an artist of the 18th century. Although the big difference could be a very personal style based on wide brushstrokes, which causes the feeling of leaving things almost unfinished, and that they merge into each other. Something that certain critics have even qualified as pre-impressionism.
However, surely the great difference from Guardi is that he did not make real views, or lavish, but very heartfelt panoramic views of the city. As in this case where we see what he thinks is the most representative of Venice: a gondolier and water.
Does not claim to be detailed or exhaustive. He focuses on the pictorial, and all this achieved based on those loose spots of paint, some brushstrokes that seem more like touches to the canvas, in fact they even called him a “di tocco” master.