Artist
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
Italian painter

Disclaimer

Images

We do our best to use images that are open source. If you feel we have used an image of yours inappropriately please let us know and we will fix it.

Accuracy

Our writing can be punchy but we do our level best to ensure the material is accurate. If you believe we have made a mistake, please let us know.

Visits

If you are planning to see an artwork, please keep in mind that while the art we cover is held in permanent collections, pieces are sometimes removed from display for renovation or traveling exhibitions.

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
Italian painter
0
Be the first to vote…

Birth Date

March 05, 1696

Death Date

March 27, 1770

cschuster's picture

Sr. Contributor

Hated on for centuries, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo definitely made a comeback.

Giovanni's father died at sea when the artist was but an infant. Yeah, it's sad and all, but the Tiepolos were stacked. They were wealthy with connections to nobility. Mama Tiepolo fostered her son's artistic talents by sending him to work with a successful decorative painter. Striking out on his own didn't lead to instant success...but only because the young artist was looking for his 'thing.' Which happened to be frescoes at a time when everyone and their brother wanted a fresco. Tiepolo had basically struck gold. Established families in Milan, Bergamo, and the Veneto all wanted Tiepolo's magic touch on their palace walls. Soon, he married into the established Guardi art clan and had a couple artistic brats of his own.

Tiepolo had a thing for Venice. He liked sticking around the area instead of taking pesky commissions that required doing the long distance thing with his family. The royals in Sweden called him up, but he turned them down flat. The crowns from London to Paris to Moscow wanted a piece of him, but they had to settle for paintings that could be shipped out rather than the huge frescoes which brought him renown. Then, life happened and the Venetian government ruined everything.

Suddenly, foreigners weren't welcome in the Veneto. The economy took a downturn. Tiepolo couldn't make the bank of yesteryear in his homeland anymore, so he took his show on the road. The prince-bishop of Würzburg offered work and Tiepolo brought the sons to Germany for assistance. The Tiepolo frescoes in the Würzburg palace are considered his very best. After Würzburg, King Charles III of Spain dangled a fat contract to decorate the entirety of his new Royal Palace in Madrid. Despite his advanced age and worsening gout, Papa Tiepolo agreed to take on the journey to Spain to provide for the kids. 

The Spanish commission took a few years to complete, and Giovanni survived just long enough for the Spanish to respond to it with a resounding pooh-pooh. In the time it took to paint the palace, artistic tastes du jour had shifted away from Tiepolo's style. The painter took the heat for it before dying in his ungrateful host country. It's all good, though. Tiepolo's recognized now as possibly the greatest artist of the 18th century. Definite win in the long term column. 

Featured Content

Here is what Wikipedia says about Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Italian pronunciation: [dʒoˈvanni batˈtista ˈtjɛːpolo]; March 5, 1696 – March 27, 1770), also known as Gianbattista or Giambattista Tiepolo, was an Italian painter and printmaker from the Republic of Venice who painted in the "Rococo" style. He was prolific, and worked not only in Italy, but also in Germany and Spain.

Giovan Battista Tiepolo, together with Giambattista Pittoni, Canaletto, Giovan Battista Piazzetta, Giuseppe Maria Crespi and Francesco Guardi are considered the traditional Old Masters of that period.

Successful from the beginning of his career, he has been described by Michael Levey as "the greatest decorative painter of eighteenth-century Europe, as well as its most able craftsman."

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Giovanni Battista Tiepolo.