Venice, piazza San Marco, view to the basilica
Our painting is precisely one of the last works of his career, dated by the specialists around 1788-90. This archetypal view of Venice shows the most famous place of the city, Piazza San Marco. He has dealt with this subject many times throughout his life. Antonio Morassi cites two paintings, one in Bergamo and the other in a private collection in New York (Morassi 1993, cat. Numbers 315 and 316, reproduces in figures n°341 and 342). With striking afternoon light and scale, one of the works of this painting most faithfully recalls the view of Guardi on Piazza San Marco, now at the National Gallery in London (Fig.1, Morassi 1993, cat. N°323, reproduced in n°352).
When the painting was acquired from the Newhouse Galleries, it was accompanied by a certificate by Antonio Morassi, who did not know the work during the compilation of his catalogue raisonné published in 1973. In this certificate, Morassi confirmed the attribution to Francesco Guardi and declared that this work would be included in the corpus published in the supplement of his catalog. Unfortunately, this project remained unfinished on his death in 1976. At the time of the sale in 1998, Dario Succi approved the attribution to Guardi and dated the work around 1788-90, specifying that it was « of a very high level of quality ». Of all the versions of vedute of this view, this one is, to this day, the last one that Guardi would have painted.