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Provenance

Richard White, 2d earl of Bantry [1800-1868], County Cork, Ireland, who perhaps bought it in Italy c. 1820; by descent to Mrs. Shelswell-White. (Unspecified dealer, Dublin, as Pellegrini, in 1955); (David Carritt for Geoffrey Merton, London), 1956.[1] (Thomas Agnew & Sons, London); purchased 1964 by NGA.

Exhibition History
1960
Italian Art and Britain, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1960, no. 460, as by Francesco Guardi.
1969
In Memoria, Ailsa Mellon Bruce, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1969, no cat.
1994
The Glory of Venice: Art in the Eighteenth Century, Royal Academy of Arts, London; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Museo del Settecento Veneziano - Ca'Rezzonico, Venice, 1994-1995, no. 191, repro. (shown only in London and Washington).
Bibliography
1959
Frohlich-Bume, Lili. "Die neuentdeckten Bilder von Francesco Guardi." Weltkunst 29 (1959): 7.
1959
Jeudwine, W.R. "A Guardi Rediscovery." Apollo 70 (1959): 173-175, repro.
1959
Muraro, Michelangelo. "Figure di Francesco Guardi." Emporium 130 (1959): 252, n. 14.
1960
Morassi, Antonio. "Aggiunta al Guardi: le cinque 'Storie' della Gerusalemme liberata." Emporium 131 (1960): 247-256, figs. 5-6.
1960
Muraro, Michelangelo. "Arte Italiana e Inghilterra." Emporium 131 (1960): 168-170.
1960
Muraro, Michelangelo. "The Guardi Problem and the Statues of the Venetian Guilds." The Burlington Magazine 102 (1960): 421-428.
1960
Pallucchini 1960, 134, 140, figs. 356-357.
1961
Pallucchini, Rodolfo. "La pittura veneta alla mostra Italian Art and Britain: Appunti e proposte." In Festschrift Eberhard Hanfstaengl zum 75. Munich, 1961: 81-83, figs. 5-6.
1964
Martini, Egidio. La pittura veneziana del settecento. Venice, 1964: 114, 274, n. 259, fig. 262.
1964
Pignatti, Terisio. "Nuovi disegni di figura dei Guardi." Critica d'Arte n.s. II, nos. 67-68 (1964): 60.
1965
Heinemann, Fritz. "Mostra dei Guardi." Kunstchronik 18 (1965): 240.
1965
Nicolson, Benedict. "The Guardi Brothers as Figure Painters." The Burlington Magazine 107 (1965): 472.
1965
Palluchini, Rodolfo. "Note alla mostra dei Guardi." Arte Veneta 19 (1965): 226.
1965
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 64.
1965
Zampetti, Pietro, ed. Mostra dei Guardi. Exh. cat. Ca'Peasaro, Venice, 1965.
1966
Cairns, Huntington, and John Walker, eds. A Pageant of Painting from the National Gallery of Art. 2 vols. New York, 1966: 2:336, color repro.
1966
Hannegan, Barry. "Guardi at Venice." The Art Bulletin 48 (1966): 251.
1966
Levey, Michael. Rococo to Revolution. New York, 1966: 113-114, fig. 69.
1966
Morassi, Antonio. "Altre novità e precisazioni su Antonio e Francesco Guardi." Atti dell'Accademia di scienze, lettere e arti di Udine. 7th ser., 8 (1966-1969): 287.
1966
Pignatti, Terisio. "The Brothers Guardi." Art News Annual 31 (1966): 45.
1966
Watson, Francis J. B. "The Guardi Family of Painters." Journal of the Royal Society of Arts 114 (1966): 277-279.
1966
Zampetti, Pietro. "A proposito dei Guardi." Colóquio 39 (1966): 44.
1967
Mahon, Denis. "The Brothers at the Mostra dei Guardi: Some Impressions of a Neophyte." In Problemi Guardeschi. Atti del convegno di studi promossi della mostra dei Guardi. 13-14 settembre 1965. Venice, 1967: 91-99.
1967
Morassi, Antonio. "Antonio Guardi." In Sensibilità e razionalità del '700. Corso internazionale di alta cultura, 7, Venice 1965. Edited by Vittore Branca. Florence, 1967: 509-510.
1967
Watson, Francis J. B. "Guardi and England." In Problemi Guardeschi. Atti del convegno di studi promossi della Mostra dei Guardi. 13-14 settembre 1965. Venice, 1967: 212.
1967
Zampetti, Pietro. "Il problema dei Guardi: la ricerca della verita." In Problemi Guardeschi. Atti del convegno di studi promossi della Mostra dei Guardi. 13-14 settembre 1965. Venice, 1967.
1968
European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 57, repro.
1968
Morassi, Antonio. "Antonio Guardi as a Draughtsman." MD 6 (1968): 132.
1972
Fredericksen, Burton B., and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972: 98.
1973
Morassi, Antonio. Guardi: Antonio e Francesco Guardi. 2 vols. Venice, 1973-1975: 1:88-92, 320-322, nos. 68-69; 2:figs. 78, 80.
1974
Rossi Bortolatto, Luigina. L'opera completa di Francesco Guardi. Milan, 1974: 89-90, nos. 17, 21, repro.
1975
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 168, repro.
1978
Knox, George. "The Tasso Cycles of Giambattista Tiepolo and Gianantonio Guardi." Museum Studies 9 (1978): 89-95, fig. 28-29.
1979
Shapley, Fern Rusk. Catalogue of the Italian Paintings. 2 vols. Washington, 1979: 1:231-235, 2:pl. 158.
1981
Martini, Egidio. La pittura del settecento veneto. Udine, 1981: 547, n. 333.
1984
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 348, no. 484, color repro.
1985
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 195, repro.
1989
Pignatti, Terisio. Venezia. Mille anni d'arte. Venice, 1989: 333, color repro.
1992
Pedrocco, Filippo, and Federico Montecuccoli degli Erri. Antonio Guardi. Milan, 1992: 141-142, nos. 153-154, figs. 195, 197-201, color pls. 34-35.
1994
Martineau, Jane, and Andrew Robison, eds. The Glory of Venice: Art in the Eighteenth Century. New Haven, 1994: 452, cat. 191, color pl.
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: 147-157, color repro. 151.
Technical Summary

The support is constructed of three lengths of coarse, plain-weave fabric joined horizontally with seams that slant diagonally toward the lower-right corner. At the left the upper seam is 53 cm from the top edge, at right 64 cm; the lower seam is 98 cm from the bottom at the left, but only 87 cm at the right. The ground consists of a red layer directly over the fabric support with another gray layer over it, and possibly a third, lighter gray layer. The gray layer(s) is smooth and exposed at various points in the composition.

The paint was rapidly applied using a variety of techniques and consistencies. Very thin washes were used to lay in the background, but wet-into-wet opaque passages describe figural elements. Flourishes of white and yellow impasto were used, as well as fluid dashes of black and brown, to emphasize contours and form. The background sky and landscape appear to have been laid in first, with pink and purple paint strokes worked in with the blue and white, and thicker impasto whites and yellows for the clouds. Next the mountains and buildings were applied working wet-into-wet. The broad strokes used for the sea are so thin that the striations of the brushstrokes reveal the ground beneath. The figures and still-life elements were applied last. There is greater skill and deftness in the modeling of the basket weaver, the head of the uppermost shepherd boy, the goats, and the flowers near the bottom corners than in the rest of the painting. In the figure of Erminia the handling of the paint is deft and assured, with subtleties of modeling quickly but confidently indicated. There are minor shifts in the placement of the foliage at right.

The original tacking margins are present and incorporated into the picture plane at the top and sides. The two original seams are visible on the surface, as is the horizontal seam in the lining canvas. Extensive abrasion is present throughout, especially in the thinly applied browns and greens. The abrasion has been only partially inpainted. The inpainting has whitened. The varnish is mildly discolored. Traction crackle is evident in many of the black, brown, and dark red passages. The painting was most recently treated in 1959.