Artist Spotlight: Francesco Guardi

Continuing our March theme for this week’s Artist Spotlight, we are going to highlight Italian artist Francesco Guardi. While his most praised works were not his landscapes, his landscape works have us dreaming of warmer days and really transport you into the scene.

Born in 1712 in Venice, Italy, Guardi was born into a family of nobility and a family of painters nonetheless! His talent was nurtured from a young age as his father, two brothers, and brother-in-law were also painters. The brothers inherited their family workshop and worked on may large commissions together. In 1735 he moved workshops, but still continued to work with his brother, Gian. During this time his works included both landscapes and figure compositions. One of the more notable commissions that Francesco worked on was one for the Venetian government that was to celebrate the visit of the Russian Archdukes in 1782. Guardi excelled using the painting technique referred to as sfumato, that is used for softening the transition between colors. His style was also known as, pittura di tocco. This is style is known for its small dotting and spirited brush strokes, and would majk Guardi’s works highly praised by French Impressionists.

So while landscapes were not what Francesco became most known for, they certainly transport us to the canals of Venice and demonstrate great talent and ability that he carried with him throughout his career. I look forward to sharing more landscape painters with you this month and celebrating the warmer weather in them!

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