• Venice, c. 1775
  • Oil on canvas
  • Inv. 391

Regatta on the Grand Canal

Francesco Guardi

This work is inspired by Canaletto’s painting A Regatta on the Grand Canal (Windsor Castle, Windsor) from the early 1730s, whose engraving, by Antonio Visentini in 1742, became extremely popular. In Guardi’s work the perspective is also deeper, the point of view more withdrawn and the horizon lower, aspects reflected in a sky that is almost twice the size and magnificently atmospheric. The livelier treatment of the subject is also extended to the execution of the small restless figures that fill the scene and play an active role in it.

The painting depicts the Grand Canal seen from Ca’Foscari during a regatta. The artist conceives the space in depth from the tribune near the Balbi Palace to the Rialto Bridge on the limit of the horizon. The macchina can be made out on the left, a floating pavilion where the winners received their prizes. The rich decoration of the fabrics on the balconies and the boats decorated with branches, standards and marine divinities, suggest joy and movement in the Rococo style.

Robert Dundas Haldane-Duncan, 1st Earl of Camperdown; Adam Haldane-Duncan, 2nd Earl of Camperdown, 1859–67; Lady Julia Duncan, Baroness Abercromby, 1867–1915; Georgina Wilhelmina Mercer-Henderson, Countess of Buckinghamshire. Acquired by Calouste Gulbenkian from Christie’s, London, 8 March 1919.

H. 61 cm; W. 91 cm

Pallucchini 1965

Rodolfo Palluchini, Colecção Calouste Gulbenkian. Francesco Guardi. Lisbon: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, 1965, no. 4.

Morassi 1973

Antonio Morassi, Guardi. L’Opera completa di Antonio e Francesco Guardi. Venice: Alfieri, 1973, vol. I, pp. 199, 202, 366–7, no. 299.

Muraro 1993

Michelangelo Muraro, Os Guardi da Colecção C. Gulbenkian / The Guardi Paintings of the C. Gulbenkian Collection. Lisbon: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, 1993, pp. 36–9, no. 9.

Sampaio 2009

Luísa Sampaio, Painting in the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. Lisbon/Milan: Calouste Gulbenkian Museum/Skira, 2009, pp. 138–9, cat. 59.

Lisbon 2011

Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. Lisbon: Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, 2011, p. 157, cat. 133.

Updated on 15 june 2022

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