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The Island of San Giorgio in Alga, Venice, Italy
Photo credit: The Cheltenham Trust and Cheltenham Borough Council

The Island of San Giorgio in Alga, Venice, Italy

Francesco Guardi (1712–1793)

The Wilson

(b Venice, 5 Oct. 1712; d Venice, 1 Jan. 1793). Venetian painter, the best-known member of a family of artists. He is now famous for his views of Venice, indeed next to Canaletto he is the most celebrated view-painter (see veduta) of the 18th century, but he produced work on a great variety of subjects and seems to have concentrated on views only after the death of his brother Gianantonio (bapt. Vienna, 27 May 1699; d Venice, 22 Jan. 1760). Until then Francesco's personality was largely submerged in the family studio, of which Gianantonio was head and which handled commissions of every kind. Francesco's career was unsuccessful in worldly terms: he was still working for other artists when he was over 40, he never attracted the attention of foreign visitors in the way Canaletto did, and he died in poverty.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)


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