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    Saturday, February 26th, 2011

    A masterpiece by Guardi at Sotheby's. (click on image to enlarge) UPDATE: IT MADE A RECORD £26,697,250.

    A masterpiece of Venetian art is to be sold at Sotheby’s in London on July 6.  Francesco Guardi’s  Venice, Looking North, from the Fondamenta del Carbon is estimated to make in the region of £20 million.

    Monumental in scale (it measures 45¼ by 78½ inches) it is one of four works Guardi painted of this size.  All were executed at around the same time in the late 1760’s.  They are generally considered to be his greatest work, the  fullest expression of his mature style.

    One of the four was destroyed by fire in the mid-20th century. The last in the group was sold by Sotheby’s in 1989 for almost £10 million – then the second highest price ever achieved at auction for an Old Master painting and still the record for the artist.

    Throughout its existence, the painting has almost always hung in private. With the exception of a short period recently, when it was on loan to the Iveagh Bequest at Kenwood House in London, its last public showing was in the great 1955 exhibition at the Royal Academy, European Masters from the 18th century.

    UPDATE: IT MADE  A RECORD £26,697,250.