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Come lo vedo io:  Francesco Guardi

As I see it: Francesco Guardi


Francesco Guardi was born on 5 October 1712 in Venice into a family of painters.


His father Domenico, like his mother Maria Pichler, belong to the small Trentino nobility of the Val di Sole. On Domenico's death the shop passes to his eldest son Gianantonio, where Francesco will begin his apprenticeship. The second child Cecilia will marry Giovan Battista Tiepolo.


Throughout the first period of his activity it is difficult to distinguish the paintings of the two brothers: still today, for some works, the dispute between critics is open.


We, however, remember Francesco Guardi for the "views", the landscapes and we approach him with Canaletto. And precisely this comparison helps us to define, by contrast, the novelty and style of Francesco Guardi.


In Canaletto the image is precise, clear, we could define it as "scientific": the subject is to accurately tell what you see, what is there.

With Francesco Guardi things change.

The design is not followed precisely, but the colors come to life, the "specks2, intended as small strokes of color, are more lively, free and the application of the color is" atmospheric ", letting the surface vibrate with the intent of" rendering an atmosphere ".


No longer the landscape as "I paint exactly what I see", but the landscape as an expression of one's individual experience: the door opens to memory and the "state of mind".


Also for this reason, Guardi chooses “minor” views of Venice, even peripheral or ruined, which Canaletto or Bellotto have never taken as their subject.


Especially in the last period, for Francesco Guardi, the landscape becomes a pretext to search for combinations and luminous rhythms, silvery mists and transparencies, drawing on an incredible palette of colors and tones.


Views and landscapes filtered by the soul and sensitivity of a great Francesco Guardi.


Andrea Giuseppe Fadini

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