Art e Dossier

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Art History

Giambattista Tiepolo: biography

Tiepolo received his training in the atelier of Gregorio Lazzarini one of the best known Venetian painters of the time. He worked there from 1710 to 1717 when he was registered in the guild of Venetian artists. His early works (1715-1716) include the five paintings in the church of the Ospedaletto in Venice, the style is very close to the “melancholic” painters of the period, Piazzetta and Federico Bencovich. Tiepolo quickly revealed an ability to paint in different styles: in the Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew for the church of San Stae in Venice there are traces of Piazzetta’s influences, while in his first frescoes in Palazzo Sandi (1725-1726) the references were clearly Sebastiano Ricci and his interpretations of Paolo Veronese. The shift towards a more enchanting naturalism and lighter colors is also evident in the frescoes he painted in the Palazzo Arcivescovile in Udine. He decorated the Milanese palazzos, Archinto (destroyed during World War II) and Dugnani using a scenographic and illusionistic arrangement in his compositions. He was sought after by nobles and he expressed their aspirations with a rococo lightness, and he also did religious paintings, such as the ceiling of the church of the Gesuati in Venice. In parallel, he also painted on the easel: Apelles Painting the Portrait of Campaspe (Montreal Museum of Fine Arts) that refers to his own work as a painter and he did some portraits as well. After he frescoed Palazzo Clerici in Milan, and Palazzo Labia in Venice and printed a series of bizarre Capricci (1743) in 1750 he was summoned to Würzburg by the bishop-prince Karl Philip of Greiffenklau to decorate the grandiose Residenz (completed in 1753). When he returned to Italy he received other commissions for noble residences (Villa Valmarana in Vicenza, Ca’ Rezzonico in Venice and Villa Pisani at Stra) and then in 1762 he left for Spain where he worked for Charles III decorating the royal palace, until his death. His eloquent and spectacular paintings reflect the secular culture of the eighteenth century while revealing the Venetian matrix of sixteenth century classicism that he amplified in bold illusionistic solutions graced by clear and airy illumination

The works