Francesco Guardi

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Francesco Guardi
Ascent of a Balloon in Venice
Pen and brown ink and wash over black chalk.
9 7/16 x 9 13/16 inches (240 x 249 mm)
Thaw Collection.

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Inscribed on verso in pen and ink: "appollonia Mandich da Bol è una / bella Matta, e poi Buffona (Apollonia Mandich da bol is a fair idiot, and in addition a fool)" and, in a different hand, "Caccha(?) ca ha / spomenze od mene / spomenteze daccam(?) / ... / lasè ricordi ui lasio / il Cuor mio".

Lucy Cohen; the earl of Roseberry; Lady Sybil Grant; Stefan Zweig; Dr. M. Altmann; Albermann collection; Thomas Gibson; Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw, New York.

The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY, "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection", 2017. Exh. cat., no. 191, repr.
Denison, Cara D. et al. The Thaw Collection : Master Drawings and New Acquisitions. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1994, no. 37.


Watermark: bird perched upon the letter P upon the mirrored letter G(?).
The first flight of a manned balloon took place in Paris in autumn 1783. Within a few months, crowds gathered in Venice to watch as Count Francesco Zambeccari ascended in a balloon launched from a platform in the Bacino di San Marco. This momentous event was depicted by Guardi in the present drawing and in a closely related painting, now in Berlin. Both images depict the spectacle from beneath the portico of the Dogana da Mar, on the Grand Canal. The domed churches in the distance are S. Giorgio Maggiore and the Zitelle. -- Exhibition Label, from "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection"

Associated names: 

Cohen, Lucy, former owner.
Rosebery, Earl of, former owner.
Grant, Sybil, Lady, former owner.
Zweig, Stefan, 1881-1942, former owner.
Altmann, M., former owner.
Gibson, Thomas, former owner.
Thaw, Eugene Victor, former owner.
Thaw, Clare, former owner.

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