View of the island of San Giorgio Maggiore
Francesco Lazzaro Guardi
Information about author
Guardi's legacy of around six hundred surviving drawings comes from the last decade of his life. Most of them are what remained in the artist's studio at the time of his death. Predominantly the works belong to the category of Capriccio: combinations of real or imaginary buildings, ruins and landscapes arising from the author's imagination. The Venetians were always inclined to appreciate the creativity, artistry and wit of the "capriccio", which was a counterbalance to the familiar daily views of the hometown. The view of the island of San Giorgio Maggiore was one of the favourite motifs to which the artist turned during the 1770s and early 1780s. This group of works, comprising some thirty signed paintings and several dozen drawings, demonstrates that Guardi used one standardised compositional type. All the works in this group were painted from virtually the same perspective along the Riva degli Schiavoni, possibly from the side of the facade of the Banco di San Marco. The main place in the composition of the work presented is occupied by the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, brilliantly drawn in a contrasting manner. The drawing is thought to have been made as an independent work and dates from the 1770s and early 1780s.