View of the Guidecca Canal and the Zattere

Francesco Guardi (1712–1793)
View of the Giudecca Canal and the Zattere, c. 1765–70
Oil on canvas
47 1/4 x 80 3/4 in. (120 x 205.1 cm)
Private collection

Location: West Gallery

A spectacular view of Venice by Guardi on long-term loan from a private collection can be seen in the East Gallery. This painting is notable in the artist’s oeuvre for its ample dimensions, matched only by two other vedute of Venice at Waddesdon Manor (Waddesdon, Aylesbury, England). The work, which was until 1959 one of the jewels of the De Ganay collection, appeared in the exhibitions Le Cabinet de l’Amateur in 1956 and Venise au dix-huitième siècle in 1971, both held at the Orangerie, Paris. In this painting, the Fondamenta delle Zattere, located on the south bank of Venice, is depicted at right while the island of Giudecca can be glimpsed at left. Such views of Venice were popular souvenirs of the Grand Tour during the latter half of the eighteenth century and have remained in favor with collectors ever since. 

Although Henry Clay Frick’s collection is celebrated for its focus on portraits and landscapes ― among them, Turner’s dramatic harbor views of Dieppe and Cologne ― Frick did not include any such paintings of Venice in the provisions to create the museum of his collection. He had, however, enjoyed the work of Guardi and had purchased three smaller paintings by the artist: two in 1913, which were given to the institution in 1984 by his daughter, Helen Clay Frick (they are now installed in the Reading Room of the Frick Art Reference Library and are mostly known to art historians using that research facility); and another in 1918, which now hangs in the Frick Art & Historical Center in Pittsburgh. The grand-scale Guardi currently on loan returns a sense of Henry Clay Frick’s taste for the artist to the permanent collection galleries.

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