Cityscape of Venice Venezia

View up the Grand Canal toward the Rialto, c. 1785


This is exactly the kind of painting a British aristocrat would purchase as a memento of his Grand Tour of the major cities of Italy. In the 1700s, the Grand Tour was a way for elite young men to learn about art and history and improve their taste. The Grand Canal, the principal waterway of Venice, winds through the city from the railway station to the Piazza San Marco, where it meets the Adriatic Sea. In this late afternoon view, Francesco Guardi portrayed a section of the canal from a vantage point looking northeast toward the Rialto bridge.

Many of the buildings seen here still exist and are identifiable due to Guardi’s exacting detail. The first two palaces at the far right, the Ca’ Farsetti and the adjacent Palazzo Loredan, today function together as the city hall.



Guardi, View up the Grand Canal (#077)
View up the Grand Canal toward the Rialto
Artist Life
Italian (Venice), 1712–1793
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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Cityscape of Venice Venezia