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Provenance

(Eugene Glaenzer, Paris); purchased 1914 by (M. Knoedler & Co., London); sold 1924 to R. Horace Gallatin [1871-1948], New York;[1] gift 1949 to NGA.

Exhibition History
1954
Extended loan for use by The White House, Washington, D.C., 1954-1955.
1967
The Art of Venice: An Exhibition of Five Works of Venetian Masters on extended loan from The Lending Collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Tampa Bay Art Center, University of Tampa, Florida, 1967-1969, p. 11, repro.
1969
Inaugural Exhibition: European Paintings, The Art Museum, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, 1969-1970, no cat.
1969
Loan for display with permanent collection, Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Florida, 1969.
Bibliography
1965
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 64, as The Rialto Bridge by Francesco Guardi.
1968
European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 56, repro., as The Rialto Bridge by Francesco Guardi.
1972
Fredericksen, Burton B., and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972: 97, as by Francesco Guardi.
1975
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 166, repro., as The Rialto Bridge by Francesco Guardi.
1979
Shapley, Fern Rusk. Catalogue of the Italian Paintings. 2 vols. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1979: I:242, II:pl. 163, as The Rialto Bridge by Francesco Guardi.
1985
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 193, repro., as The Rialto Bridge by Francesco Guardi.
1996
De Grazia, Diane, and Eric Garberson, with Edgar Peters Bowron, Peter M. Lukehart, and Mitchell Merling. Italian Paintings of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1996: 141-143, repro. 142.
Technical Summary

The support is a wood panel with horizontal grain. The ground is an extremely thin reddish brown layer that does not cover the wood texture and is unevenly applied, being thinnest at the edges. The paint is of fluid consistency with a granular appearance due to large and irregular pigment particles. The sky was laid in before the cityscape using a continuous layer of blue and white over the red ground with splattered dots of deep blue throughout. X-radiographs reveal areas where the artist covered over additional clouds with blue sky. The brushwork is vigorous and free and allows the ground to show in selected areas. Following the sky, the water and architecture were laid in using washes with the ground exposed to create areas of shadow; architectural details were drawn in with calligraphic strokes of black paint. The foreground figures, boats, and highlights were painted last with a full brush. The lighter valued areas are painted with a softly rounded rather than sharp-edged impasto.

The panel has been thinned to about 0.1 cm and marouflaged to a wood panel and then cradled. The painting is in excellent condition except for small areas of minor abrasion in the sky and canal. The varnish is clear. Discolored varnish was removed and the painting was restored in 1982.