Gondolas on the Lagoon (Grey Lagoon)

Francesco Guardi1765

Museo Poldi Pezzoli

Museo Poldi Pezzoli
Milano, Italy

In a suspended, muffled atmosphere, where grey and blue are the predominant tones, some gondolas are moving through the calm waters of the lagoon, while in the distance, in the rosy light, we see the Venetian estuary. Water and sky seem to merge, separated only by the line of buildings, walls and bell towers on the horizon. It is maybe the isle of Murano, here represented in a view wholly unusual in the Venetian painter’s repertory.
Some scholars have assumed that the work is the fragment of a larger painting.
They all agree in seeing this picture as foreshadowing the later development of landscape painting in the nineteenth century. At present it is dated to about 1765.


  • Title: Gondolas on the Lagoon (Grey Lagoon)
  • Creator: Francesco Guardi
  • Creator Lifespan: 1712 - 1793
  • Creator Nationality: Italian
  • Creator Death Place: Venezia
  • Creator Birth Place: Venezia
  • Date Created: 1765
  • Physical Dimensions: w41.8 x h31 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Fondazione artistica Poldi Pezzoli "Onlus"
  • External Link: http://www.museopoldipezzoli.it/#!/en/discover/collections/701
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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