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«Stupido Guardi!»

Thresholds for Forgery in Antonio Morassi's Archive-Photo Library

Federica Veratelli    Dipartimento di Lettere, Arti, Storia e Società, Università degli Studi di Parma, Italia    

Giulio Zavatta    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    



This paper aims at discussing the role played by the art historian Antonio Morassi (Gorizia, 1893-Milan, 1976) in the Guardi forgers affair, an intriguing saga which was of interest to merchants, collectors, and connoisseurs of the Twentieth century art market. The main character is performed by Francesco Guardi (1712-1793), one of the most important Venetian painter of vedute, cherished by forgers since the first half of the 19th century. Thanks to a long process of identification, connoisseurs as Fiocco, Goering and Byam Shaw, and Morassi itself, tried to identify some of these forgers and imitators. The paper tries to investigate the multiples roles of Morassi and his idea of threshold between true and fake, through his expertises, letters, notebooks, auctions catalogues and photos (richly annotated with vivid comments in their back), still preserved in his private Photo Archive, now property of the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice).

Dec. 20, 2016
Aug. 19, 2016
July 11, 2016

Keywords: Venetian VedutaAntonio MorassiForgersGuardiArt market

Copyright: © 2016 Federica Veratelli, Giulio Zavatta. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.