Monday, August 21, 2017

A Large Tiepolo at the Norton Simon

As I've mentioned before, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770) is one of my favorite pre-19th century painters. I posted about his early works here, and about his female faces here. And here is his Wikipedia entry.

The Norton Simon museum in Pasadena, California collection includes a very large Tiepolo, "The Triumph of Virtue and Nobility Over Ignorance" (1740-50, perhaps 1743). Their web site mentions "This painting was designed for a ceiling in the Palazzo Manin in Venice. Virtue is dressed in white with a sun symbol on her breast. Beside her, Nobility holds a statuette of Minerva and a spear. To the left, Fame blows her trumpet. Below, the figure of Ignorance is being vanquished."

Even though it's a ceiling painting, it works fairly well when displayed on a Norton Simon wall. The main ceiling effect is that the depictions are made from a low point of view.

Typical of Tiepolo, Virtue is represented by the pouty blonde model found in many of his works.


A photo I took when visiting the museum in April. The information plaque seen towards the lower right serves as an indication of the scale of the painting.

A cropped image from another photo taken during my visit. Click to enlarge.

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