Niccolò Guardi was a Venetian painter. He was born in 1715 to a family of artists. His father, Domenico, was a minor noble from the Trentino region in northern Italy who had learned to paint in Vienna. Niccolò’s two older brothers, Antonio and Francesco, were also painters, and his sister, Maria Cecilia, married the renowned painter and printmaker Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. Many works attributed to Niccolò are speculative, and he may have worked alongside his better-known brothers on some of their larger commissions.
The Guardi family are primarily known as painters of vedute, an Italian word meaning “views” which refers to paintings or prints of detailed cityscapes. Images of cities like Venice were popular souvenirs among upper-class patrons who had undertaken the Grand Tour around Europe to immerse themselves in the history of Classicism and the roots of Western culture.
Along with Canaletto and Tiepolo, the Guardis marked one of the last groups of artists directly influenced by the Venetian School of painting exemplified by artists like Bellini, Tintoretto and Titian.
Niccolò Guardi died in 1785, probably in Venice.