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TIEPOLO

(Giambattista Tiepolo, 1696-1770)

Tiepolo was the sparkling star of eighteenth-century decorative painting in Italy. He was a virtuoso master of the fresco medium, sought after not only in Italy but also in Germany and Spain. Tiepolo brought imagination and Baroque grandeur to the frivolous Rococo spirit and infused it with sound pictorial composure, gleaned from his knowledge of Rubens,Rembrandt and Durer. The influence of the Venetian masters Veroneseand Tintoretto is also prevalent in the eloquence and drama with which Tiepolo imbues his large scale compositions. As a colourist, Tiepolo is unsurpassed, progressing from the rather dark tonality of his early works to his characteristically sunny palette from the early 1730s.

At the peak of his career, in 1750, Tiepolo was commissioned to decorate the Wurzburg Palace, the Prince Archbishop's residence.America is one of Tiepolo's allegorical interpretations of the four continents, decorating the grand staircase of the palace. This exotic scheme is a tour de force, full of vigour and creative originality and is considered the masterpiece of Tiepolo's maturity. In the last years of his life the rising popularity of Neoclassicism caused the decline of Tiepolo's career but did not affect its tasting impact.

From "The A-Z of Art: The World's Greatest and Most Popular Artists and Their Works", by Nicola Hodge and Libby Anson

 

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Tiepolo, Giambattista Tarquin and Lucretia (DETAIL) c. 1750 Oil on canvas 140 x 103 cm (55 1/8 x 40 1/2 in.) Staatsgalerie am Shaezler-Palais, Staedtische Kunstsammlungen Augsburg

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Tiepolo, Giambattista Tarquin and Lucretia c. 1750 Oil on canvas 140 x 103 cm (55 1/8 x 40 1/2 in.) Staatsgalerie am Shaezler-Palais, Staedtische Kunstsammlungen Augsburg

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Tiepolo, Giambattista Seated River God, Nymph with an Oar, and Putto (study for the ceiling in Pialazzo Clerici, Milan) Pen and ink and wash over black chalk The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

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Tiepolo, Giambattista Rinaldo and Armida in the Garden (DETAIL) c. 1752 Oil on canvas 105 x 140 cm (41 3/8 x 55 1/8 in.) Residenz, Weurzburg

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Tiepolo, Giambattista Rinaldo and Armida in the Garden c. 1752 Oil on canvas 105 x 140 cm (41 3/8 x 55 1/8 in.) Residenz, Weurzburg

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Tiepolo, Giambattista Woman with a Mandolin c. 1755-60 Oil on canvas 92.1 x 74.9 cm (36 1/4 x 29 1/2 in.) The Detroit Institute of Arts

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Tiepolo, Giambattista The Martyrdom of Saint Agatha (DETAIL of executioner) c. 1755 Oil on canvas 184 x 131 cm (72 1/2 x 51 5/8 in.) Gemaeldegalerie, Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin

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Tiepolo, Giambattista The Martyrdom of Saint Agatha c. 1755 Oil on canvas 184 x 131 cm (72 1/2 x 51 5/8 in.) Gemaeldegalerie, Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin