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Guardi masterpiece goes on display at the Courtauld

Francesco Guardi (1712-1793). The Rialto Bridge from the North with the Palazzo Camerlenghi. Oil on canvas, 116 x 199.5 cm. Private collection.

A MAGNIFICENT view of Venice’s Rialto Bridge, a masterpiece by the great Venetian painter Francesco Guardi (1712-1793), will go on display at The Courtauld Gallery from March 27, 2012.

Privately owned, The Rialto Bridge from the North with the Palazzo Camerlenghi was painted around 1768. Monumental in scale, the painting encapsulates the lively scene around this busy stretch of the Grand Canal which was the commercial and geographical centre of Venice.

The Renaissance Palazzo Camerlenghi, built from 1525-28, stands on the right of the bridge while nearby are the city’s principal markets, the Fabbriche Vecchie and the corner of the Fabbriche Nuove, with their bustling quays.

The Rialto Bridge from the North with the Palazzo Camerlenghi complements The Rialto Bridge looking North from the Fondamenta del Carbon sold by Sotheby’s in 2011.

Together with two other paintings executed around the same time (one of which has been destroyed and the other is in a private collection), these works are considered to represent the pinnacle of Guardi’s career and they are amongst the greatest and most imposing of all Venetian view paintings.

The painting loaned to The Courtauld is exceptional for its large size, 116 by 199.5 cm. Guardi never painted on this scale again.

It will be displayed at The Courtauld in Room 4 in close proximity to the Gallery’s rich collection of oil sketches by Guardi’s contemporary, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770), another outstanding Venetian master.

Admission: Adult: £6, concessions: £4.50. Free: Mondays 10am to 2pm (except public holidays); at all times for under 18s, fulltime UK students, registered unwaged and Friends.

Opening hours: Daily from 10am to 6pm (last admission 5.30pm).

The Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 0RN

Tel: +44 (0)20 7848 2526

Website: www.courtauld.ac.uk