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Provenance

(Alphonse Kann [1870-1948], Paris); sold 4 June 1914 to (Thomas Agnew & Sons, London, stock no. 4543); sold 27 June 1914 to Calouste Gulbenkian; returned 11 June 1915 to (Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd., London, stock no. 4668); sold 7 July 1922 to (C.M. Agnew and Ansdell, London);[1] sold to Howard Sturges [d. 1955], Providence, Rhode Island;[2] gift 1956 to NGA.

Exhibition History
1967
Loan for display with permanent collection, Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences (now Chrysler Museum), Virginia, 1967-1972.
1974
Loan for display with permanent collection, Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Florida, 1974.
1977
Extended loan for use by Secretary Patricia R. Harris, U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Washington, D.C., 1977-1980.
Bibliography
1958
Muraro, Michelangelo. "An Altar-Piece and Other Figure Paintings by Francesco Guardi." The Burlington Magazine 100 (1958): 8, fig. 17.
1965
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 64.
1967
Muraro, Michelangelo. "Asterischi guardeschi." In Problemi Guardesci. Atti del Convegno di studi promossi della mostra dei Guardi. 13-14 settembre 1965. Venice, 1967: 161, fig. 175.
1968
European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 56, repro.
1972
Fredericksen, Burton B., and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972: 97.
1972
Krönig, Wolfgang. "Storia di una veduta di Roma." Stordia dell'Arte 57 (1972): 182, fig. 37.
1973
Morassi, Antonio. Guardi: Antonio e Francesco Guardi. 2 vols. Venice, 1973-1975: 1:137, 257-258, 438, no. 685; 2:644.
1974
Rossi Bortolatto, Luigina. L'opera completa di Francesco Guardi. Milan, 1974: 84, 131, no. 708, repro.
1975
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 166, repro.
1979
Shapley, Fern Rusk. Catalogue of the Italian Paintings. 2 vols. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1979: I:243, II:pl. 164
1985
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 194, repro.
1993
Succi, Dario. Francesco Guardi. Milan, 1993: 115, fig. 115.
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: 138-141, repro. 139.
Technical Summary

The plain-weave fabric was prepared with an underlying dark red layer and a second, buff-colored ground. This buff color was allowed to show through in the architecture, sky, and water. The artist began by painting the cityscape: he sketched it in first with painterly contour lines, then added blocks of color, and finally used thin lines of black and white for the details. Figures were painted over the landscape and architectural elements. The blue sky was laid in after the cityscape, but directly over the ground, and the clouds were added over the sky. The whites and lighter colors were applied quite thickly, the darks thinly. In x-radiographs it appears that the house in the center was moved downward and that the dome of the church on the left had been planned to be much taller.

The original tacking margins have been removed, but cusping suggests that the original image dimensions have been preserved. The surface is severely abraded, especially in the darks, which have also become quite transparent. This is especially evident in the glazes used for Saint Peter's. Inpainting in the sky is concentrated near the cityscape. The varnish is somewhat matte. The painting was relined, discolored varnish was removed, and the painting was restored in 1956, probably by Frank Sullivan.