Gianantonio Guardi

1698 - 1760

Place Born


Place Died



The re-assessment of Gianantonio Guardi’s artistic autonomy and importance in recent years amounts virtually to rediscovery. An important part in this rediscovery was played by Morassi’s publication of an allegorical drawing in 1953 (see below) which revealed the quality of the artist’s graphic work in permitting the confident attribution to him of many other drawings. The subsequent secure attribution to Francesco of The Appearance of the Trinity to Saints Peter and Paul (Roncegno, Parish Church) revealed the clear difference in the brothers’ figure styles. The previous attribution of most of the figure paintings to Francesco has now changed, and many figure pictures were re-attributed to Antonio.

From documents it is now clear that Antonio was employed from about before 1730 until 1746 by Field Marshal Count Johann Matthias von der Schulenburg to paint interpretative ‘copies’ of famous paintings for Schulenburg’s gallery; the further discovery of the Gerusalemme Liberata series in Ireland and the attribution of parts of the cycle to Antonio, with the knowledge that they were free versions of Piazzetta engravings, added a significant dimension to his oeuvre. Most important of all is the attribution exclusively to Antonio of the paintings in the Church of the Angelo Raffaele, Venice, showing The Story of Tobias, long believed to be by Francesco and among the masterpieces of 18th-century European painting. The catalogue of Antonio’s paintings now extends to well over one hundred and fifty works, including a wide variety of themes, from mythological and biblical to harem scenes, allegories, portraits including the magnificent Schulenburg (Venice, Museo Correr) and the impressive Empress Elisabeth Christine of Austria as a Widow (Christie’s, London, 11 December 1992, lot 18) and history subjects.

Little factual evidence is as yet available regarding Antonio. Probably the pupil of his father Domenico, his only signed and dated picture is the St. John Nepomuk of 1717 (Treviso, Cogo Collection) possibly showing Austrian influence. The next secure date is that of his employment by Schulenburg (by 1730), after which various dates are recorded; the activity for Schulenburg is the fundamental basis for many other attributions and datings, since most of the ‘copies’ by Antonio are documented. Of particular interest in terms of Rococo iconography are the 43 quadri turchi commissioned from Antonio by Schulenburg in 1742-3.

Available Art Works

A Capriccio of classical Ruins with Peasants and a Sol

Work Available
Historical Period: 1720-1780 Rococo
A Capriccio of classical Ruins with Peasants and a Sol