Description of the picture:
Grand Canal in the area of the fish market – Francesco Guardi. 1765. Oil on canvas. 53×70
The picture covers a huge territory – a section of Venice in the area of the fish market. It is located on the Grand Canal – the main waterway of the city, the widest and busiest canal in Venice. The canvas is a wide perspective landscape with a view of one of the canal banks and partially covering the structures of the second coast.
This picture can be perceived as a pair to another canvas, depicting the Grand Canal overlooking the Rialto Bridge. They are very similar, only as if in a mirror image. In addition, they demonstrate two different aspects of the life of the city – working and trading, earnings in order to survive and feed a family and a luxurious, comfortable life.
Directly in front of the viewer, he sees large buildings, as if growing directly from the water of the Grand Canal. On the left side, almost half of the canvas is occupied by a huge massive structure of several floors with large numerous arches on the ground floor. This is followed by the territory of the open fish market and a whole crowd of small and large multi-storey buildings.
From the coast on this side of the canal, where the artist himself was located, the picture turned out to be only a tiny fragment of the wall of the house with a small balcony and many gondolas crowding right under it.
All water surface is literally crowded with boats. They teem on the water, like modern cars on the squares and roads of large cities. The Grand Canal is an important waterway of the city, goods are delivered to the market through it, and it also helps to transport purchased goods to all areas of Venice.
The color scheme of the painting is characteristic of Guardi – golden and ocher tones of building stones, dull green colors of the canal water, dark gondolas and individual bright spots that give the canvas vibrance and dynamics. The image consists of small delicate brush strokes and is inherently very close to the classic of impressionism – it makes a vivid impression. The sky above the canal is like a reflection of water, the same greenish, not having a pronounced color, with light clouds. It is reflected in the channel, as in a mirror, increasing the space and making it more voluminous.
The viewer seems to feel the moist air from the canal, smelling of fish, tar, hot stones, heated by the hot rays of the sun. Despite the traditionality of the “Veduta” style, Guardi’s works differ from other paintings in their special mood and vision of the world, more subtle and masterful transfer of feelings."