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Piazza San Marco, Venice

Piazza San Marco, Venice


Francesco Guardi

(Italian, 1712-1793)

Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, with brush and gray wash (possibly chalk) and traces of black chalk, framing lines in brown and black ink

Support: Cream(1) laid paper

Sheet: 31.3 x 46.5 cm (12 5/16 x 18 5/16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1951.83


The plaza known as the Piazza San Marco in Venice was as popular among tourists in the 1700s as it is today, and the painter Francesco Guardi provided the wealthiest of these visitors with both painted and drawn souvenirs of it. The Cleveland drawing is one of a number that depict the same view, showing the façade of the Basilica of San Marco at the far end, the campanile (bell tower), and the Procuratie Nuove, the building seen in perspective at the right. Guardi chose a late afternoon scene with the western sun bathing the right half of the square in sunlight and people taking leisurely strolls.

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