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Giovanni Battista Tiepolo


Venetian School. Born 1696; died 1770. He learned from his early master, Lazzarini, the basic techniques of painting and much about composition. But more significant for the formation of his individual style was the influence of masters such as Piazzetta, with his dramatic chiaroscuro, Sebastiano Ricci, with his rich coloring, and, among older masters, Paolo Veronese, with his serene, richly decora­tive compositions. In his long productive career of over half a century Tiepolo outgrew his early dramatic, Baroque style, attaining such mastery of linear and aerial perspec­tive and purity of color that his figures, for all their elegance and palpable form, seem as serenely poised in the vast spaces of the heavens as on the earth. His assistants – Mengozzi-Colonna, for perspective and ornamental details, and Tiepolo's own sons, especially Domenico, his constant helper for many years – were so dominated by the master's genius that their very considerable contributions are rarely distinguishable in his paintings. Besides numerous easel pictures Tiepolo painted vast decorative series in fresco, his most congenial medium. Far and wide, European courts competed for his services: the decorations in the bishop's palace at Würzburg (1750-53) constitute perhaps his greatest masterpiece; and the last eight years of his life were devoted to scarcely less amazing decorations at the court of Spain.
Image Artist Artwork Title Date School K No. Repository