Museum Home Past Exhibitions For Your Approval: Oil Sketches by Tiepolo

May 3–September 4, 2005 at the Getty Center

House of Loreto / Tiepolo
The Miracle of the Holy House of Loreto, 1744
audio Listen to a discussion of this image.

Venetian painter Giambattista (Giovanni Battista) Tiepolo (1696–1770) was one of the most imaginative artists of 18th-century Europe. This exhibition, which centers on 11 loans from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, focuses on his oil sketches—small, rapidly executed paintings usually made in preparation for larger compositions.

Most artists began large compositions by drawing, but Tiepolo laid down his initial ideas by sketching in oil. This allowed him to test ideas and present his concepts to patrons.

Tiepolo's sketches show a skillful handling of paint, inventive storytelling, and imaginative use of color and light.