Tim Marlow TV - National Gallery online - J Paul Getty Museum online -
In these works by Guardi he is anticipating the art of Turner, of Whistler, and even of Monet, who came to Venice for its sublime light and liquid atmosphere. Tim Marlow on ... Venice: Canaletto
In Guardi’s work there is a sense that although the Venetian republic had ended, Venice still had a role to play in the evolution of modern painting. ibid.
Francesco Guardi was, after Canaletto, the main painter of views of Venice in the 18th century. His early figurative paintings were carried out in association with his brother, Gian Antonio, but in about 1760 Guardi turned to view painting. Following Canaletto he recorded both the architecture of the city and the celebrations of its inhabitants in interior and exterior scenes. These works brought him great success.
Francesco Guardi was born in Venice, the son of a minor painter, Domenico Guardi. In 1719 his sister married Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, who may have influenced the vivacity and bright colouring of Guardi’s figures.
While Guardi followed Canaletto in producing views or vedute, he soon developed his own style, based on a freer handling of paint. He took particular pleasure in rendering the vibrant atmosphere of Venetian light and its dazzling effect on water.
The more ‘impressionistic’ approach of Guardi also found expression in small-scale imaginary scenes or capricci, of which there are many surviving examples, such as An Architectural Caprice. National Gallery online
Guardi spent his entire life in and around Venice producing work for local patrons as well as the tourist trade. He was also employed by the government to record state occasions such as the 1782 visit of Pope Pius VI. In addition to paintings and drawings of state visits and receptions, Guardi contributed designs for these celebrations including designs for furniture and parade boats. Toward the end of his long career, Francesco was assisted by his younger brother Nicolò and by his son Giacomo. After his father’s death, Giacomo Guardi continued the family studio producing paintings both in his father's and his own style. J Paul Getty Museum online