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    FRANCESCO GUARDI (Venice 1712–1793), The Rialto Bridge with the Palazzo dei Camerlenghi.

    A painting by Francesco Guardi handed down through generations of the Guinness family made £26.2 million at Christie’s Classic Week Old Masters evening sale in London last night. The Rialto Bridge with the Palazzo dei Camerlenghi achieved the highest price paid for an Old Master this year. It  is one of the celebrated pair of views of the Grand Canal at the Rialto, which are widely regarded as the most accomplished works of Guardi’s early maturity. Ambitious in scale and startlingly innovative both in design and pictorial mood, this work stands among the masterpieces of eighteenth-century European art. The picture is prominently signed and exceptionally well preserved, having been offered for sale only once in its history.

    The sale totalled £43,848,250.  The evening sale achieved 75% by lot and 78% by value and saw registered bidders from 23 countries, across 4 continents.

    Henry Pettifer, Head of Christie’s Old Master Paintings EMERI said: “’The Rialto Bridge with the Palazzo dei Camerlenghi’ by Francesco Guardi is the most expensive Old Master painting since the sale of Rubens’s ‘Lot and his Daughters’ this time last year. It continues the momentum in the Old Masters field at Christie’s and proves once again the global appetite for the very best works of art.”

    (See post on for April 5, 2017)

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