A Theatrical Performance

Object Details

Title:

A Theatrical Performance

Artist/Maker(s):

Francesco Guardi (Italian, 1712 - 1793)

Culture:

Italian

Place(s):

Italy (Place created)

Date:

1782

Medium:

Pen and brown ink and brush with brown wash over black chalk

Dimensions:

27.5 x 38.4 cm (10 13/16 x 15 1/8 in.)

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An elegantly dressed crowd gathers to watch a play in a large salon with a high barrel-vaulted ceiling. The mostly male spectators wear long frock coats, three-cornered hats, and hair tied behind in ponytails. Francesco Guardi quickly sketched the outline of the figures and architecture, and then applied strokes of brown wash to suggest shadows or the texture of fabric. Patches of wash suggest the arches around the windows and create depth on the raised platform of the stage.

This sketch commemorates a performance of the commedia dell'arte on January 21, 1782, in Venice for Grand Duke Paul Petrovitch of Russia and his wife Maria Fedorovna. As part of their tour across Europe, traveling under the pseudonym "Comte et Comtesse du Nord," the Grand Duke and Duchess stayed in Venice between January 18 and 25. Guardi drew several paintings and drawings to record their visit.

Exhibitions
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (May 24 to August 8, 1993) (57)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), May 24 to August 8, 1993
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994) (19)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994
Master Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998) (19)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998
Drawing Italy in the Age of the Grand Tour (February 5 to May 12, 2002) (19)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 5 to May 12, 2002
Light and Water: Drawing in Eighteenth-Century Venice (May 17 to August 21, 2005) (19)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 1 to August 22, 2004
A Light Touch: Exploring Humor in Drawing (September 23 to December 7, 2008) (19)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), September 23 to December 7, 2008