Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
b. 1696 Venice, d. 1770
Madrid I saw this painting at the royal palace in Madrid and fell in love with Tiepolo immediately Apotheosis of Spain. Below see his crucifixion from the St. Louis art museum. It has recently been removed from public view. Trained in Venice, Tiepolo also worked in Spain and Germany. His work is simply awe-inspiring.
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). His style was also influenced by renaissance artist Tintoretto. He was the great eighteenth century painter of the baroque and rococo periods.
Tiepolo Crucifixion, Saint Louis Art Museum, SLAM
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.”
Würzburg is a town on the romantic road in Germany. Also on the romantic road Castle Neuschwannstein and Rothenburg ob der Tauber.
Tiepolo was active in Italy, Germany, and Spain.
This ceiling and staircase made quite an impression on me the first time I saw it 36 years ago.
Margaret Lewis told me the first time she saw the his ceiling frescoes in Venice it left her in tears, also Rembrandt and Venus de Milo.
What artist has influenced you?
What trip or city have you visited that has had a particular influence on you?
Do you have a favorite painting in your home city?
Do you know of another artist with as far reaching a range as Tiepolo?
- Würzburg, a Baroque town – Wurzburg, Germany (travelpod.com)
- The fresco-filled Würzburg Residence (thelocal.de)
- Can an Imitation beat the real thing? (savoo.co.uk)
- Gemaldegalerie Berlin guide: Director favourites (telegraph.co.uk)
- Lucas Day 16: Sunday the 21st (berleniceart.wordpress.com)
- Veni[ce], Vidi, Vici: Going for Baroque in La Serenissima with Olivier Cavé (operachic.typepad.com)
- Day 6 – Wurzburg and its Magnificent Residenz (kidazzleink.com)