Lot 39. Francesco Guardi (Venice 1712-1793), The Piazzetta, Venice, with the Doge’s Palace and the Libreria, San Giorgio Maggiore beyond, oil on canvas, 13 ½ x 18 1/8 in. (34.4 x 45.8 cm.). Estimate £150,000 - £250,000 ($193,650 - $322,750). Price Realized £164,500 ($213,192). Photo Christie's Image Ltd 2016.

ProvenanceAlfred Beit (1853-1906), 26 Park Lane, London, by 1904, and by inheritance to his brother,
Sir Otto Beit, 1st Bt. (1865-1930), and by descent to his son,
Sir Alfred Lane Beit, 2nd Bt. (1903-1994), Russborough, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

Property from the Alfred Beit Foundation 

LiteratureG.A. Simonson, Francesco Guardi: 1712-1793, London, 1904, p. 89, no. 88.
W. von Bode, The Art Collection of Mr. Alfred Beit at his Residence 26 Park Lane, London, Berlin, 1904, pp. 27 and 51.
W. von Bode, Catalogue of the collection of pictures and bronzes in the possession of Mr. Otto Beit, London, 1913, pp. 35 and 96, no. 122.
F.J.B. Watson, ‘The Collections of Sir Alfred Beit: 1’, The Connoisseur, CXLV, April 1960, p. 161.
A. Morassi, Guardi, I dipinti, Venice, 1975, I, p. 381, no. 375.

NoteThis view and the following lot show two of the most celebrated sights of Venice, the Piazzetta, flanked by two of the great secular buildings of Venice, the medieval Doge’s Palace on the left and Sansovino’s Libreria on the right, with the Molo, and, across the Bacino, the façade of Palladio’s great church of San Giorgio Maggiore; and the Piazza San Marco looking towards the Basilica, the religious centre, although not originally the cathedral of the city. Inevitably both were subjects for which there was a considerable demand. Morassi lists no fewer than eighteen variants of the Piazzetta seen from a roughly central view point, and twenty-eight of the Piazza (op. cit., nos. 314-41 and 361-72). Of these the majority are on canvas, with a handful on panel. Though the dimensions of both Beit pictures match precisely, and they hung as a pair in the Music Room at Russborough, Morassi lists them separately in his catalogue. He dates the present lot to 1760-70, and the following picture (lot 39) to 1775-80.

Christie's. OLD MASTER AND BRITISH PAINTINGS EVENING SALE, 7 July 2016, London, King Street