Giovanni Battista Tiepolo Italy
3-5-1696 Venice, ITA – 3-27-1770 Madrid, ESPBack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo was the youngest of six children of Domenico and Orsetta Tiepolo. His father was a small shipping merchant who belonged to a family that bore the prestigious patrician name of Tiepolo without claiming any noble descent.
In 1710 Giovanni Battista Tiepolo became a pupil of Gregorio Lazzarini, a successful painter with an eclectic style. He was, though, at least equally strongly influenced by his study of the works of other contemporary artists such as Sebastiano Ricci and Giovanni Battista Piazzetta and those of his Venetian predecessors, especially Tintoretto and Veronese.
Some major commissions came from the patrician Dolfin family. Dioniso Dolfin, the Archbishop of Udine in Friuli employed him to decorate a chapel in the cathedral at Udine, and then to paint another cycle depicting episodes from the lives of Abraham and his descendants from the book of Genesis at his archiepiscopal palace (the "Arcivescovado") (completed 1726–1728). Despite their elevated subject matter, they are bright in color, and light-hearted in mood. Giovanni Battista Tiepolo used a much cooler palette than previous Venetian painters, in order to create a convincing effect of daylight.
By 1750, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo's reputation was firmly established throughout Europe, with the help of his friend Francesco Algarotti, an art dealer, critic and collector. That year, at the behest of Prince Bishop Karl Philip von Greiffenklau, he traveled to Würzburg where he arrived in November 1750. He remained there for three years during which he executed ceiling paintings in the New Residenz palace (completed 1744).
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo returned to Venice in 1753. He was now in demand locally, as well as abroad where he was elected President of the Academy of Padua.
In 1761, Charles III commissioned Giovanni Battista Tiepolo to create a ceiling fresco to decorate the throne room of the Royal Palace of Madrid. The panegyric theme is the Apotheosis of Spain and has allegorical depictions recalling the dominance of Spain in the Americas and across the globe.
After his death, the rise of a stern Neoclassicism and the post-revolutionary decline of absolutism led to the slow decline of the style associated with his name, but failed to dent his reputation.
Art Movement: Rococo Art
Influences: Gregorio Lazzarini
Traveled: Germany, Spain