View of the Giudecca Canal and Le Zattere, the Churches of San Biagio and Santa Marta, the Island of San Giorgio in Alga and, in the Distance, the Euganeian Hills

Francesco Guardi

Vista del Canal de la Giudecca con Le Zattere, las iglesias de San Biagio y Santa Marta, la isla de San Giorgio in Alga y, al fondo, los montes Eugáneos

Guardi, Francesco

Venecia, 1712 - 1793

View of the Giudecca Canal and Le Zattere, the Churches of San Biagio and Santa Marta, the Island of San Giorgio in Alga and, in the Distance, the Euganeian Hills, c. 1757-1758

© Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza

Signed lower left: ''''.
Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection on deposit at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza

Oil on canvas

71,3 x 119 cm


Artwork history

  • Third baronet Sir Brook Bridges (1733-1781). The work was presumably commissioned in 1757-1758.

  •  Henry, 20th baron Fitz Walter, by descent, Goodnestone Park, near Canterbury (Kent).

  • Christie´s, lot 15, London, July 17th, 1931. (230 guineas).

  • Rothschild family.

  • Baronet Sir George Leon.

  • R. F. Heathcoat-Amory.

  • Sotheby´s, lot 87, London, June 27th, 1962. (15,000 pounds).

  • Leonard Koetser Gallery, London.

  • Paul Wallraf.

  • Francesco Genova, 1962.

  • Alice Tully, 1962.

  • Christie´s, lot 150, New York, January 11th, 1995.

  • Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection on deposit at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid.


Autumn Exhibition of Flemish, Dutch and Italian Old Masters, London, Leonard Koetser Gallery, nº 23.


De Canaletto a Kandinsky. Obras maestras de la Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, nº 4, p. 54.


Del vedutismo a las primeras vanguardias. Obras maestras de la Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, nº 4, p. 66.

1997 - 1998

El Viatge a Itàlia. Vedute Italianes del Segle XVIII de la Col·lecció Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Barcelona, Colección Thyssen-Bornemisza. Pedralbes Monastery, pp. 42-47.

1997 - 1998

The Spirit of the Place. Masterworks from the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, New York, The Frick Collection; Hartford (CT), Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, nº 2, p. 24 (only in New York).

1998 - 1999

Masterworks from the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum; Takaoka, Takaoka Art Museum; Nagoya, Matsuzaka Art Museum; Sendai, Miyagi Museum of Art, nº 7, p. 32.


Aspectos de la tradición paisajística en la Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Málaga, Salas de Exposiciones del Palacio Episcopal, nº 11, pp. 58-60.


De Van Goyen a Constable. Aspectos da tradición do pintoresco na Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Corunna, Museo de Belas Artes da Coruña, nº 11, pp. 64-66.


Canaletto. Una Venecia imaginaria, Barcelona, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona; Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, nº 47, p. 132.


Landschaften von Brueghel bis Kandinsky. Die Ausstellung zu Ehren des Sammlers Hans Heinrich Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza, Bonn, Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, nº 31, p. 98.

2008 - 2009

Venice: from Canaletto and Turner to Monet, Basle, Fondation Beyeler.

2010 - 2011

Venice: Canaletto and his Rivals, London, The National Gallery; Washington, National Gallery of Art, nº 53, pp. 134, 136 (illus.).

2012 - 2013

Canaletto, Guardi. Les deux maîtres de Venise, Paris, Musée Jacquemart-André, nº 35, pp. 136-137 (det.), 146-147 (illus.) and 197.

  • -Morassi, Antonio: ”Circa gli esordi del vedutismo di Francesco Guardi con qualche cenno sul Marieschi’‘. In Studies in the History of Art dedicated to W. E. Suida. London, Phaidon, 1959, pp. 344 and 346, fig. 11.

  • -Voss, Hermann: ”Francesco Guardi und Francesco Tironi’‘. In Pantheonº 1966, p. 103, fig. 4 (listed as Francesco Tironi).

  • -Arslan, Edoardo: ”Considerazioni sul vedutismo di Francesco Guardi’‘. In Problemi Guardeschi. Atti del Convegno di Studi promosso dalla Mostra dei Guardi. [Conference proceedings, Venice, September 13th-14th, 1965] Venice, Alfieri Edizioni, 1967, p. 10.

  • -Morassi, Antonio: Guardi: Antonio e Francesco Guardi. Venice, Alfieri, 1973, vol. 1, nº 622, pp. 220, 246, illus.; vol. 2, fig. 590.

  • -Rossi Bortolatto, Luigina: L’opera completa di Francesco Guardi. Milan, Rizzoli, 1974. Classici dell’arte; vol. 71, nº 142, p. 97, illus.

  • -Morassi, Antonio: Guardi. Tutti i Disegni di Antonio, Francesco e Giacomo Guardi. Venice, 1975, nº 400, p. 149.

  • -Succi, Dario: ”Gli inizi vedutistici di Francesco Guardi, con cenni sui capricci’‘. In Casadio, Paolo… [et al.]: Guardi, metamorfosi dell’immagine. [Exhib. cat. Castello di Gorizia]. Venice, Cassa di Risparmio di Goriza, 1987, pp. 60, 80, note 3.

  • -Succi, Dario: Francesco Guardi. Itinerario dell’avventura artistica. Milan, Amilcare Pizzi,1993 [French ed.: Arcueil, Anthèse, 1995], p. 45.

  • -Christie, Manson & Woods International Inc.: Important Old Master Paintings from the Collection of Alice Tully. [Auction cat.]. New York, January 11th, 1995, pp. 54-56, illus.

  • -De Canaletto a Kandinsky. Obras maestras de la colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. [Exhib. cat. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza]. Llorens Serra, Tomàs (ed.). Madrid, Fundación Colección Thyssen-Bornemisza, 1996, nº 4, p. 54. [Sheet by Roberto Contini].

  • -Russell, F.: ”Guardi and the English Tourist’‘. In The Burlington Magazine. January, 1996, vol. 138, nº 1114, pp. 4-11.

  • -Canaletto. Una Venècia imaginària. [Exhib. cat.]. Succi, D. and Delneri, A. (lit. eds.). Barcelona, Centre de Cultura Contemporània, Institut d’edicions, 2001, p. 132 [Sheet by Succi].

  • -Contini, Roberto: The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection. Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Italian Painting. London, 2002, nº 62, pp. 294-299, illus.

  • -Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza. Arnaldo, Javier (ed.). 2 vols. Madrid, Fundación Colección Thyssen-Bornemisza, 2004, vol. 1, p. 188, illus. p. 189 [ Sheet by Roberto Contini].

  • -Solana, Guillermo: Paisajes en la Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza. London, Scala, 2006, p. 38, illus. (detail p. 39).

  • -Borobia, Mar and Alarcó, Paloma (eds.): Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Obras escogidas. Madrid, Fundación Colección Thyssen-Bornemisza, 2011, p. 140, illus. p. 141.

  • -Kowalczyk, Bozena Anna: “Canaletto et Guardi à Venise”, en Paris 2012, pp. 22-37, cit. p. 34.

  • -Canaletto, Guardi. Les deux maîtres de Venise. Kowalczyk, Bozena Anna (ed.). [Exhib. cat., Paris, Musée Jacquemart-André]. Brussels, Fonds Mercator, 2012, nº 35, pp. 146-147 [Sheet by Bozena Anna Kowalczyk].

Expert report

A variety of boats move through the waters of the Giudecca Canal, which stretches into the distance to the heights of the Euganeian Hills. On the right the Zattere can be seen from the Fondamenta del Ponte Lungo to the tip of Santa Marta, at the left a section of the Giudecca, with the destroyed church of Saints Biagio and Cataldo (the former Mulino Stucky now stands in their place), and the island of San Giorgio in Alga.

Scholars have established that the paintings of Venice that owe their existence to English patronage can be divided into three distinct groups: the first, with five paintings including this one, belonged to Baron Henry Fitz Walter until 1931; a second group of six paintings is still in the collection of the Duke of Buccleuch at Bowhill House, while two others were part of the Sondes Collection at Lees Court. There seems to be no doubt that the right part of the canvas, showing the section of the Zattere, is based on a drawing by Guardi formerly in the Chennevières Collection (London, Christie’s, 25 June 1974, lot 197), which, however, differs from our painting in its wider depiction of the riva, and also by the inclusion of a low building at the far right separated by a small street from the Ca’ Zorzi, neither of which are shown in this painting. It should be noted that of the church of Santa Marta, which is visible in the distance, only the exterior has survived, located in the port area of the city quarter of the same name, the most western part of the city and a sort of paradigmatic proto-industrial zone.

The same drawing was probably used for the other two vedute which are very similar to the present painting and, like it, are also signed (Buccleuch and Sondes Collections). Both are derived from the Thyssen prototype, and are, so to speak, continuations of the panoramas which did not yet include one of the most famous examples of architecture of the Venetian Settecento, the church of the Gesuati, built after plans by Giorgio Massari between 1723 and 1736.

In the absence of a secure chronology for a good part of Guardi’s career, Morassi proposed a fairly early date of c. 1745-1750 for part of the three groups of “English” works, while Succi suggested a later date of c. 1750. More precise dates can be inferred from the overlapping visits of collectors on their Grand Tours around the 1750s. Sir Brook Bridges, for example, the only ancestor of Lord Fitz Walter to have had an interest in art, went on his Grand Tour between 1757 and 1760; his presence in Padua (and thus probably in Venice) is documented in June 1757. He posed for Batoni and Mengs in 1758, the same year that another Englishman (John Montagu, Lord Brundenell, later Marquis of Monthermer, who probably bought the six paintings by Guardi that later passed to the Buccleuch Collection) was painted by both artists. Montagu remained in Venice from September 1758 until early 1760, and we cannot fail to mention that he commissioned Antonio Joli, possibly in 1757, with a series of thirty-nine views of Italian and French cities where he stayed during his Tour, as well as two views of Vesuvius and the Neapolitan coastline by Carlo Bonavia (the first of these dated precisely 1757). Given that four of the views by Guardi which were in the Bucchleuch collection are still in the Montagu residence at Bowhill, along with sixteen of Joli’s topographical views and the one of the Neapolitan coastline by Bonavia, it seems logical to relate the name of Lord Brundenell to them, assuming the likelihood of relationships between the various English collectors who made the Grand Tour. Another link to these dates and this small group of Englishmen is the provenance of Lees Court for the two versions of another unidentified portrait by Batoni (which Clarkdates around 1758), i.e. the same collection in which we find the smaller version of Francesco Guardi’s Giudecca Canal. It can thus be suggested that the Thyssen canvas (which is certainly not dated too late, but is instead inspired by Canaletto) and both pictures which originally went with it were commissioned in 1757 or at the beginning of 1758, and the ones in the Buccleuch Collection in the September of that year.

Roberto Contini