Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

[tee-ep-uh-loh; It. tye-paw-law]
Tiepolo, Giovanni Battista, 1696-1770, Italian painter, b. Venice. He was the most important Venetian painter and decorator of the 18th cent. His frescoes in the Labia Palace and the doge's palace won him international fame. In 1750, Tiepolo was summoned to Würzburg, where he decorated the palace of the archbishop with frescoes illustrating the life of Emperor Frederick I and with altarpieces depicting the Ascension of the Virgin and Fall of the Angels. In 1762 he went to Madrid, where he passed the remainder of his life and decorated the royal palace with frescoes representing Spain and Her Provinces and the Apotheosis of Spain. In oil he was also prolific. Tiepolo's works are in many European and American galleries. Among them are The Crucifixion (City Art Mus., St. Louis); The Apotheosis of Aeneas (Mus. of Fine Arts, Boston); and two allegorical pictures (Metropolitan Mus.). The National Gallery, Washington, D.C., has several pictures. Lightness and clarity of color, superb draftsmanship, and scintillating brushwork mark his style. Particularly in his fresco decorations, in which he sent foreshortened deities floating on clouds through sunny skies, his mastery and audacity are amazing. It is an art derived from Veronese, but it is less concerned with solid structure and shows more surface brilliance. Two of Tiepolo's sons, Giandomenico and Lorenzo, continued his tradition. Tiepolo was famous also as a draftsman and etcher. Technically, Goya learned much from him.

See catalog of works (ed. by G. Knox, 1960); studies by A. Morassi (1955), P. Ancona (1956), V. Crivellaro (1962), and A. Rizzi (1972).

or Giambattista Tiepolo

(born March 5, 1696, Venice—died March 27, 1770, Madrid) Italian painter and etcher. In the 1730s and '40s the Venetian clergy and nobility vied for his works. In 1750 he went to Würzburg with his sons and collaborators, Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo and Lorenzo Tiepolo, to decorate the prince-archbishop's palace. His Würzburg frescoes and canvases are his most boldly luminous works. In 1762 he escaped the political disequilibrium of the Seven Years' War by accepting an invitation to paint ceilings in the royal palace in Madrid, again with his sons, his last great undertaking; he remained in Spain until his death. Although he initially used a melancholic chiaroscuro style, his later work is full of bright colour and bold brushwork. His luminous, poetic frescoes both extend the tradition of Baroque ceiling decoration and epitomize Rococo lightness and elegance.

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