The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Capriccio with the Archway of the Torre dell'Orologio
  • Francesco Guardi (1712 - 1793)
  • Capriccio with the Archway of the Torre dell'Orologio
  • Italy
  • late 1780s
  • Painting
  • Oil on beech panel
  • Image size: 27.6 x 22.1 cm, oval
    Object size: 56.5 x 48.5 x 9.5 cm
  • P502
  • West Gallery I
Further Reading
  • This picture, paired with P504, is a typical example of Guardi’s capriccio paintings – imaginary views, usually showing recognisable landmarks or architectural details in inventive or fantastical combinations, which were particularly popular in Venice in the 18th century. The identification of the archway as that of the Torre dell’Orologio (the clocktower in St Mark’s Square) was first suggested in 1913, and seems to be confirmed by a comparison with another capriccio in the National Gallery, London, which is thought to show the same interior arcade. As with many of Guardi’s works, numerous versions of the present picture and several related drawings are known.

    Both the P502 and P504 are thought to have been painted in the late 1780s. The style of figures’ costume and the overall technique, with short fractured brushstrokes, would indicate such a date.