A Procession of Triumphal Cars in the Piazza San Marco, Venice, Celebrating the Visit of the Conti del Nord (recto) Three Sketches of Arches (verso)

A Procession of Triumphal Cars in the Piazza San Marco, Venice, Celebrating the Visit of the Conti del Nord (recto) Three Sketches of Arches (verso)

1782

Part of a set. See all set records

Francesco Guardi

(Italian, 1712-1793)

Pen and brown ink with brush and brown wash

Sheet: 25.9 x 36.8 cm (10 3/16 x 14 1/2 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1955.164

Fun Fact

Before entering the museum's collection, this sheet may have been cut on the left, possibly to eliminate a sixth carriage that does not appear in Guardi’s other representations of the procession.

Description

This drawing records a grand procession through Venice's Piazza San Marco on the penultimate day of the 1782 celebrations for the visit of the Russian Grand Duke Paul (Pavel) Petrovitch and his wife Maria Feodorovna. Francesco Guardi was likely commissioned by the Venetian state to document the ducal visit. Drawing from the vantage point of the Procuratie Nuove (a palace on one side of the piazza), Guardi sketched five carriages festooned with allegories, which were meant to celebrate the governments of Catherine the Great and Venice. In order to include as much of the procession as possible, he manipulated the perspective of the buildings on the right side of the square.The loose handling and lively immediacy of the pen work suggests he executed it on the spot. One drawing (Museen Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin) and two oil paintings (private collections, Venice and Milan) of the same scene survive. Cleveland’s sheet likely preceded these more detailed and polished compositions.

See also
Collection: 
DR - Italian
Department: 
Drawings
Type of artwork: 
Drawing

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