GUARDI, Italian family of painters and draughtsmen
Although generally thought of as Venetian, the Guardi family had its origin, at least as far back as the early 16th century, in the Val di Sole in the Trentino, the mountainous district that is now the most northern part of Italy. They were of some distinction and were granted a patent of nobility by Emperor Ferdinand III in 1643. Domenico Guardi (1678–1716), the father of the best-known members of the family, Giovanni Antonio Guardi and Francesco Guardi, learnt to paint in Vienna, but nothing is known of his artistic production. He married there before removing to Venice about the turn of the century. His eldest child, Giovanni Antonio, was baptized in Vienna in 1699; but a daughter Cecilia was born in Venice in 1702. Francesco was also born in Venice, as was a third son, Nicolò Guardi (1715–1786), who also became a painter. Attributions to Nicolò have been suggested; but that is all speculation. In 1719 Cecilia married Giambattista Tiepolo, later reckoned one of the most celebrated painters of his time. On the death of Francesco, the studio was inherited by his son Giacomo Guardi.