Francesco Guardi

Francesco Guardi (October 5, 1712- January 1, 1793), Venetian painter, was a pupil of Canaletto, and followed his style so closely that pictures are very frequently attributed to his more celebrated master. He is considered to be among the last practitioners, along with his brothers, of the classic Venetian school of painting.

Nevertheless, the diversity, once perceived, is marked--Canaletto's painting is more solid, architectural, and meticulously etched, while Guardi's style is looser, noticeable for spirited touch, sparkling colour and picturesquely sketched figures--in these respects being fully equal to Canaletto. Guardi sometimes coloured Canaletto's designs. Canaletto is said to have painted the Serene republic rising above the waters of the lagoon; in Guardi, it appears to melt into the fog and murky water.

He had extraordinary facility, three or four days being enough for producing an entire work. The number of his performances is large in proportion to this facility and to the love of gain which characterized him. Many of his works are to be found in England and seven in the Louvre.