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Guglielmo Ciardi’s Reflected Light

The two versions of “Il Canale della Giudecca” (1869) by Guglielmo Ciardi (Venice 1842 – 1917) in the Galleria d’Arte Moderna in Venice and Rome is undoubtedly one of the peaks of his artistic production. In the painting, the Venetian artist’s pictorial material becomes airy and light, the brushstrokes fringed and vaporous, and the silvery and clear shades of the lagoon a superb exercise of luminous lightness. Ciardi was fond of repeating this subject at different times of day, with different perspectives or views each time. The artist’s frequent treatment of this theme offers a paradigmatic overview of the evolution of his artistic career, as well as of Venetian views in general in the second half of the 19th century.
In the version that will be in the catalogue at the Genoa auction of 19th century Paintings on 15 March (lot 299, estimated price €12,000-16,000), the lagoon – between balanced landscape painting and delicate tonal spot painting – reveals a sense of immensity and absolute quietness. Thus, nature intimately merges with the diffused light that pervades everything