Francesco Guardi - inv. 318
This work is linked to Fantastic Landscape with Fisherman and Farmstead (inv. 319).
These two minute pictures, painted on canvas and subsequently backed on to wood, appear in a good state of conservation, despite the paint having oxidised.
We can see small figures intent on their work in the foreground of the first painting. There is a castle with towers in the background, while in the distance on the right there is a boat with its white sails unfurled.
The second painting reveals a farmstead in the background with a fisherman in the foreground holding his fishing rod, and further small figures in the distance.
As well as vedute (views) of which he was considered one of the greatest and most sensitive interpreters, Francesco Guardi also devoted himself to fanciful landscapes, a much-requested pictorial genre in that period. It is probable that for this type of work, typical of his later production, Guardi resorted to collaborators from his workshop, like, for example, his son Giacomo.
Despite this uncertainty, these two small landscapes can definitely be
attributed to Francesco: the unmistakeable fluency of the brushwork, the fineness in the tonal relationships defining the various depths and the rendering of the figures as small dots are all his hallmarks.