Sotheby’s is selling a Francesco Guardi Venice, A View of the Rialto Bridge, in July. It is one of four similar works: one was destroyed in a fire, this one and its pendant have stayed together and the last one made $15m at auction in 1989:
The painting has been sold just once since it was first acquired in Venice in 1768 by the English Grand Tourist, Chaloner Arcedeckne. It remained in Arcedeckne’s family until 1891, when it was sold to Sir Edward Guinness, 1st Bt., later 1st Earl of Iveagh (1847-1927). It has since passed by inheritance through the same family.
Throughout its existence, the painting has almost always hung in private. With the exception of a short period recently, when it was on loan to the Iveagh Bequest at Kenwood House in London, its last public showing was in the great 1955 exhibition at the Royal Academy, European Masters from the 18th Century.