The Art of Venice: A Glimpse into the City's Vibrant Past
The city of Venice has a long and rich history, dating back to the 6th century. Since then, Venice has been a major cultural and artistic center, as well as an important trading hub. There are numerous artworks in The Metropolitan Museum that come from Venice, or that were created by Venetian artists. These artworks provide a glimpse into the city's vibrant past, and offer insight into the various cultures that have influenced Venice over the centuries.
Piazza San Marco
This view can be compared to Canaletto's of the same location from forty years prior.
Guardi's technique is altogether looser and less adherent to the geometric ordering of the square, its pavement, and facades.
Guardi employs a playful, illusionistic device by signing his name in the miniature canvas being carried by the man at lower right.
The Island of San Michele, Venice
Guardi's views of Venice differ from those of Canaletto in that they are less a detailed description of individual buildings than an attempt to convey the magic of the city, enveloped - as here - in a diaphanous, silvery light.
This picture shows the cemetery island of San Michele with its early Renaissance church, designed by Mauro Codussi in 1469, at center.
Flanking the church are the domed Cappella Emiliani and the Gothic bell tower on one side and the (former) Camaldolensian monastery on the other
Santa Maria della Salute
One of the most famous sites in Venice, Baldassare Longhena's church of Santa Maria della Salute (consecrated in 1687) is flanked on the left by the Seminario Patriarcale and on the right by the Abbazia di San Gregorio, near the end of the Grand Canal towards the Bacino di San Marco.
The baroque church dominates the entrance to the canal.
The canvas has as a pendant a view of the Grand Canal above the Rialto Bridge (71.119).
A Lock, a Column, and a Church beside a Lagoon
Canaletto also painted imaginary views, which he called vedute ideate.
Many date to the early 1740s, when he visited mainland Venice with his nephew Bernardo Bellotto.
The originality of these pictures - and this is one of the finest - resides in the abstract design, quality of light, and combination of buildings.
Venice: The Rialto
Guardi's views of Venice were hugely popular among eighteenth-century visitors to the city.
However, not all of the paintings were by the artist himself.
His workshop reproduced compositions and motifs based on his earlier paintings and drawings, while emulators took advantage of the market for the taste he had helped to set.
The Grand Canal, Venice, Looking South toward the Rialto Bridge
Canaletto shows the business and commercial center of Venice.
The distant building with an arcade at ground level and many chimneys is the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, which served as the warehouse of the German merchants.
Just to the right is the foot of the Rialto Bridge, and further to the right is the Palazzo dei Camerlenghi.
Then, as now, the rose-colored buildings and the spaces in front housed fruit and fish markets.
The picture is from a series of twenty views Canaletto probably painted for Joseph Smith ca.
The Antechamber of the Sala del Maggior Consiglio
Guardi, known for landscapes and imaginary lagoon views, also painted a few interiors including this image depicting Venetian officials and petitioners outside the principal council chamber of the Doge's palace.
Although Guardi has telescoped his view in order to accommodate the scene, the room is otherwise accurately depicted.