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Giovanni Battista Tiepolo  

b. 1696 Venice, d. 1770 Madrid
Painter; Draftsman
Italian

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Born into a wealthy and noble family in Venice, Giambattista Tiepolo was recognized by contemporaries throughout Europe as the greatest painter of large-scale decorative frescoes in the 1700s. He was admired for having brought fresco painting to new heights of technical virtuosity, illumination, and dramatic effect. Tiepolo possessed an imagination characterized by one of his contemporaries as "all spirit and fire."

A gifted storyteller, Tiepolo painted walls and ceilings with large, expansive scenes of intoxicating enchantment. In breath-taking visions of mythology and religion, the gods and saints inhabit light-filled skies. His ability to assimilate his predecessor and compatriot Paolo Veronese's use of color was so profound that his contemporaries named him Veronese redivio (a new Veronese).

Tiepolo's commissions came from the old established families of Italy, religious orders, and the royal houses of Spain, Germany, Sweden, and Russia. His frescoes adorn palaces, churches, and villas, and his artistic legacy consists of some eight hundred paintings, 2,400 drawings, two sets of etchings, and acres of fresco. When Tiepolo died at the age of seventy-four, a Venetian diarist noted the "bitter loss" of "the most famous Venetian painter, truly the most renowned...well known in Europe and the most highly praised in his native land."


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Caricature of a Man / G. B. Tiepolo
Caricature of a Man

Italian, 1753-1762

View of a Villa / G. B. Tiepolo
View of a Villa

Italian, 1757 - 1759