Tiepolo, Giovan Battista (1696-1770)

"Tiepolo, Giovan Battista (1696-1770)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Thursday 28th April 2011

Giovan Battista Tiepolo, Italian painter was born in Venice in 1696 and died in Madrid in 1770. He began his activity in the studio of Gregorio Lazzarini but very soon became independent and entered the circle of Venetian painters. The first paintings: Sacrificio di Isacco (1716, Venice, church of Ospedaletto); Ripudio di Agar (1719, Milan, Coll. Rasini); Madonna del Carmeo (1720-1722, Milan, Brera); Martirio di San Bartolomeo (1722-1723, Venice, San Stae) are characterized by a vast chromatic variety and violent chiaroscuro effects. The frescoes Potere dell'eloquenza in Palazzo Sandi (1724-1725); Apoteosi di Santa Teresa in the church of Scalzi in Venice (1724-1725)- the first works in the field of illusory decoration of ample spaces- were followed by a masterpiece of the young artist: the fresco cycle in the Archbishopric of Udine (1726-1728) with the Storie bibliche in the gallery on the second floor and Caduta degli angeli ribelli on the ceiling of the hall.

The influence of Veronese's art on the works of Tiepolo could be seen in frescoes executed in Milan in 1731: the mythological scenes in Palazzo Archinto (destroyed in 1943); Storie di Scipione, Sofonisba e Massinissa depicted with the extraordinary scenographic taste in Palazzo Dugnani; Cappella Colleoni in Bergamo (1732-1733); Villa Loschi in Biron di Vicenza (1734). The other works on mythological theme and Altar pieces are: Madonna e Santi (Chicago, Art Inst.; Venice, chiesa dei Gesuati); Immacolata Concezione (Vicenza, Pin.); San Clemente adora la Trinita' (Monaco, Alte Pin.); Apollo e Dafne (Paris, Louvre); Danae e Giove (Stockholm, University); frescoes on the ceiling of the chiesa dei Gesuati (1737-1739); Scene della Passione in the church of Sant'Alvise in Venice (1738-1740); enormous paintings with the Storie bibliche of Parrocchiale di Verolanuova (1738-1740).

With a huge fresco Carro del Sole on the ceiling of the hall in Palazzo Clerici in Milan (1740), one of the best examples of decorative fantasy and illusory effects of Tiepolo, opens a decade of a very intensive activity during which were created the frescoes on the ceiling of the Scuola dei Carmini (1740-1744); grandiose Miracolo della Santa Casa di Loreto (1743-1744, destroyed in 1915) in the church of Scalzi in Venice; the frescoes in Villa Cordellina in Montecchio Maggiore (1743) representing Trionfo della Fortezza e della Prudenza, Famiglia di Dario davanti ad Alessandro and Magnanimita' di Scipione; Storie di Antonio e Cleopatra (below picture: Il Tempo rapisce la Bellezza (The Time abducts the Beauty) (Venice, Palazzo Labia, 1747-1750).
tiepolo tempo
In December 1750 the artist moved with his sons Giandomenico and Lorenzo to Wurzburg, where remained for nearly three years at service of a prince bishop Carl Phillipp von Greiffenklau, decorating a sumptuous residence built by architect B.Neumann and depicting some paintings during the winter months.

The frescoes of the residence of Wurzburg (1751-1753): the ceiling and the walls of Kaisersaal and the ceiling of the hall of honor, represent some historical, mythological and allegorical themes connected with the celebration of emperor Federico Barbarossa, bishop Aroldo and prince bishop Greiffenklau. The triumphal splendor of the Wurzburg's cycle is attenuated on the ceiling of the Venetian church of Pieta' (1754-1755) and most of all in the frescoes in Villa Valmarana (below picture: Rinaldo abbandona Armida) close to Vicenza (1757), where Tiepolo executed with intimate and warm colors the sentimental stories of the epic and knight poems.
tiepolo rinaldo
n the followings years were created among some great works of artist, the decoration of some halls in Palazzo Rezzonico in Venice; Assunzione on the ceiling of the oratory della Purita' in Udine; Apoteosi della famiglia Pisani in the Villa Nazionale di Stra. In 1762 the artist went to Madrid, where spend the last years of his life serving to Charles III: frescoes in Palazzo Reale (1762-1766) with Gloria di Spagna on the ceiling of the Throne Hall, Apoteosi di Enea in the Guard Hall.

The fact that Tiepolo could be called a "universal painter" is due to his extraordinary capacity to create masterpieces in all the fields of painting activity: great cycles of frescoes, numerous religious and civic paintings, beautiful portraits and pictures of solitary figures realized mostly after 1745: portrait of Antonio Riccobono (Rovigo, Acc.dei Concordi); portrait of Procuratore (Venice, Pin.Querini Stampaloa); Testa di Vecchio (San Diego, Fine Arts Gall.); Giovane con pappagallo (Oxford, Ashmolean Mus.); Giovane col mandolino (Detroit, Inst. of Arts), sketches and drawings, etchings Capricci and later Scherzi.

The work of Tiepolo was renown already by his contemporaries and his fame didn't know limits in Europe of the 18th century. (See on the below picture: Immacolata)
tiepolo immacolata

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