Francesco Guardi Biography | Oil Painting Reproductions
10-5-1712 Venice, ITA - 1-1-1793 Venice, ITABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Francesco Guardi's father Domenico and his brothers Niccolò and Gian Antonio were all painters, after his father's death in 1716 they all inheriting his workshop. In 1735, Francesco Guardi joined the studio of Michele Marieschi and remained there until 1743.
His works in this period included both landscapes and figure compositions. His early vedutas show impact both Canaletto and Luca Carlevarijs had on him. Unlike Canaletto's resplendent Venice with its wonderful palaces reflected in the canals, Guardi depicts a subdued and faded city, inhabited by poor people who have to struggle for a living as the imminent crisis looms. Impoverished by a change in trade routes, weakened and reduced in size due to the erosion of its territories by the Ottoman Empire, Venice spent the eighteenth century waiting for the inevitable end, which came with the Napoleonic conquest in 1797.
In 1763 he worked in Murano, in the church of San Pietro Martire, finishing a Miracle of a Dominican Saint influenced by Alessandro Magnasco in its semi-expressionistic style. Francesco Guardi's most important later works include the Doge's Feasts, a progression of twelve canvases celebrating the ceremonies held in 1763 for the election of Doge Alvise IV Mocenigo.
In 1782 Guardi was commissioned by the Venetian government for six paintings to celebrate the visit of the Russian Archdukes in the city, and two others for that of Pope Pius VI. On September of that year, he was admitted to the Fine Art Academy of Venice.
Francesco Guardi's style is known as pittura di tocco (painting of touch) for its small dotting and energetic brushstrokes, this looser style of painting had been used by Giovanni Piazzetta and Sebastiano Ricci. This painting style, a century later, would make Guardi's works prized by the French Impressionists.
Art Movement: Rococo, Venetian School
Artists Influencing Francesco Guardi: Michele Marieschi, Alessandro Magnasco, Canaletto