(1712-1793) Italian painter. He produced souvenir views of his native Venice that were commercially less successful than Canaletto's but are now considered more atmospheric, with subtler use of reflected light.
He began as a figure painter, collaborating with his brother Gian Antonio, but in middle age, that is from about 1760, devoted himself to views of Venice, being influenced by the example of Canaletto and the demand of visitors for paintings of the city. A figure of Hope, 1747 (Sarasota, Ringling Museum), and five large canvases (based on illustrations by Piazzetta to Tasso), discovered in Ireland 1959 and identified as his, show his decorative skill in Rococo figure painting, in which, however, he does not challenge comparison with his brother-in-law, Tiepolo. His views of Venice and the islands of the lagoon are his main product. His output was large and he seems to have been assisted by his son Giacomo (1764–1835), who produced gouache views in a style of his own. Guardi painted not only famous buildings and splendid occasions like Canaletto but insular byways and architectural caprices with ruins, with a sparkling touch and a sense of atmosphere that might be called Impressionist.