The ruins of the arch on the shore of the lagoon
Follower of Francesco Guardi
Information about author
The drawing Ruins of the Arch on the Shore of the Lagoon was probably done by a follower of Guardi and was inspired by one of the artist's architectural "capriccio". In Guardi's oeuvre, fantasy views with a ruined arch on the lagoon's shore occupied an important place both in painting and in drawing studios. The painter skillfully imitates the techniques of Guardi, in particular the brush strokes and strokes of the pen, but the work is inferior in skill to the artist's authentic works. In painting his works with ruins, Guardi was inspired by Canaletto's fantasy views commissioned by Joseph Smith and the illusory views from Piranesi's engravings. In contrast to these, he changed the source of his inspiration, depicting Venice rather than the ancient ruins of Rome. These were often depictions of ruined fragments of the city's real architectural structures, predominantly Palladian. It has been suggested that this theme in his work is linked to the changing tastes of collectors, in particular the proto-romantic fashion for collecting painted ruins. The drawing belongs to the type of "romantic capriccio", in which elements of exotic ruins or half-destroyed towers and rustic houses were combined in an idealised landscape. Usually, in such groups of works, a single architectural element was often repeated without change. The painting from Lviv is a replica of Guardi's Capriccio with Ruined Arch and Figures, 1778, which is now in the Chiesa Collection in Milan.