Monday, August 12, 2013

In the Beginning: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770) is one of my favorite 18th century artists. That's because, unlike many others who painted classical and religious scenes, his women's faces looked like those of real people rather than the idealized versions inspired by Greek and Roman sculpture. His Wikipedia entry is here, and I wrote about those women here.

Although he burst on the artistic scene when fairly young, a certain amount of ramping up was inevitable. In this post, we take a look at some paintings he made by the time he reached his mid-20s. Click on the images to enlarge.


Virgin Mary Appearing to the Dominican Saints - 1747-48
This is a painting from Tiepolo's mature period indicating where he evolved.

Doge Marco Cornaro - c.1716
He was about 20 when this was painted. Most artists agree that hands are harder to depict than faces, but here Tiepolo does a decent job on the hands whereas the treatment of the Doge's face is questionable. But the Doge was a patron and helped Tiepolo to become established, so perhaps that's how the man really looked.

Apostolo Tommaso - 1715-16
Apostolo Giovanni - 1715-16
These are a pair of works fitted into the architecture of the Santa Maria dei Derelitti (Ospedaletto) in Venice.  I find these interesting because of the way Tiepolo includes many facets or planes while constructing the figures.

Scipio Africanus Fleeing Massiva - 1719-21

The Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew - 1722
By this point Tiepolo is settling into his oil-on-canvas style (his mural work was a different matter).

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