About the Pseudo-Guardi
Unidentified Italian Rococo painter
Venice, 2nd half 18th century
Still life painter.
Also called the Maestro dei Fiori Guardeschi, the Master of the Guardi-like flower still lifes.
Francesco Guardi (1712-1793) was one of the most important vedusti (townscape painters) of Venice together with Bernardo Canaletto (1697-1768) and Bernardo Bellotto (1721/22-1780). Canaletto painted evocative, accurate views of Venice and London and his nephew Belotto atmospheric views of Venice, Dresden, Vienna and Warsaw, while Guardi worked in a pre-Impressionist, loose style in Venice itself.
In 1950 Giuseppe Fiocco, in an article in Arte Veneta (IV, P. 76-85), started attributing to this brilliant painter some still-lifes, by 1964 in an exhibition in Naples their number had risen and a certain number of them were said to be fully signed. Since then those signatures have all been proved to be false, as has the basis for the attributions to Francesco Guardi.
In short the paintings given to Francesco by Fiocco might also have been painted by one of his brothers, most probably by Giannantonio, or even by a relative, the Canon Pietro Antonio Guardi, or maybe even by an assistant from his workshop. The art market clearly believes very little in attributions given to Francesco Guardi and prefers attributions to a Pseudo-Guardi, one or even several unidentified painters whose style of still-life painting might have been influenced by Francesco Guardi, but that also remind of other Rococo still life painters such as Gaspare Lopez, Elisabetta Marchioni and Margherita Caffi, active not only in Venice and the Veneto, but also in Piemonte. Until now the problem of the correct attribution of these unsigned still lifes has remained open.
Why should you buy this painting?
Because it is typical of Venetian Rococo painting: free, loose, fast, colourful, gallant and decorative.