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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 by Pellegrini, in 1955); (David Carritt for Geoffrey Merton, London), 1956.[1] (Thomas Agnew & Sons, London); purchased 1964 by NGA.

Exhibition History

Italian Art and Britain, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 1960, no. 460, as by Francesco Guardi.
In Memoria, Ailsa Mellon Bruce, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1969, no cat.
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).

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.


Frohlich-Bume, Lili. "Die neuentdeckten Bilder von Francesco Guardi." Weltkunst 29 (1959): 7.
Jeudwine, W.R. "A Guardi Rediscovery." Apollo 70 (1959): 173-175, repro.
Muraro, Michelangelo. "Figure di Francesco Guardi." Emporium 130 (1959): 252, n. 14.
Morassi, Antonio. "Aggiunta al Guardi: le cinque 'Storie' della Gerusalemme liberata." Emporium 131 (1960): 247-256, figs. 5-6.
Muraro, Michelangelo. "Arte Italiana e Inghilterra." Emporium 131 (1960): 168-170.
Muraro, Michelangelo. "The Guardi Problem and the Statues of the Venetian Guilds." The Burlington Magazine 102 (1960): 421-428.
Pallucchini 1960, 134, 140, figs. 356-357.
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.
Martini, Egidio. La pittura veneziana del settecento. Venice, 1964: 114, 274, n. 259, fig. 262.
Pignatti, Terisio. "Nuovi disegni di figura dei Guardi." Critica d'Arte n.s. II, nos. 67-68 (1964): 60.
Heinemann, Fritz. "Mostra dei Guardi." Kunstchronik 18 (1965): 240.
Nicolson, Benedict. "The Guardi Brothers as Figure Painters." The Burlington Magazine 107 (1965): 472.
Palluchini, Rodolfo. "Note alla mostra dei Guardi." Arte Veneta 19 (1965): 226.
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 64.
Zampetti, Pietro, ed. Mostra dei Guardi. Exh. cat. Ca'Peasaro, Venice, 1965.
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.
Hannegan, Barry. "Guardi at Venice." The Art Bulletin 48 (1966): 251.
Levey, Michael. Rococo to Revolution. New York, 1966: 113-114, fig. 69.
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.
Pignatti, Terisio. "The Brothers Guardi." Art News Annual 31 (1966): 45.
Watson, Francis J. B. "The Guardi Family of Painters." Journal of the Royal Society of Arts 114 (1966): 277-279.
Zampetti, Pietro. "A proposito dei Guardi." Colóquio 39 (1966): 44.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Morassi, Antonio. "Antonio Guardi as a Draughtsman." MD 6 (1968): 132.
National Gallery of Art. European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. Washington, 1968: 57, repro.
Fredericksen, Burton B., and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972: 98.
Morassi, Antonio. Guardi: Antonio e Francesco Guardi. 2 vols. Venice, 1973-1975: 1:88-92, 320-322, nos. 68-69; 2:figs. 78, 80.
Rossi Bortolatto, Luigina. L'opera completa di Francesco Guardi. Milan, 1974: 89-90, nos. 17, 21, repro.
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 168, repro.
Knox, George. "The Tasso Cycles of Giambattista Tiepolo and Gianantonio Guardi." Museum Studies 9 (1978): 89-95, fig. 28-29.
Shapley, Fern Rusk. Catalogue of the Italian Paintings. 2 vols. Washington, 1979: 1:231-235; 2:pl. 158.
Martini, Egidio. La pittura del settecento veneto. Udine, 1981: 547, n. 333.
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 348, no. 484, color repro.
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 195, repro.
Pignatti, Terisio. Venezia. Mille anni d'arte. Venice, 1989: 333, color repro.
Pedrocco, Filippo, and Federico Montecuccoli degli Erri. Antonio Guardi. Milan, 1992: 141-142, nos. 153-154, figs. 195, 197-201, color pls. 34-35.
Martineau, Jane, and Andrew Robison, eds. The Glory of Venice: Art in the Eighteenth Century. New Haven, 1994: 452, cat. 191, color pl.
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.

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