Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

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Tiepolo: ceiling fresco of the staircase, Würzburg residence.
On this fresco - his main work - Tiepolo also depicted himself (left above the corner), along with the architect Balthasar Neumann (with a sash and a huge dog) and the plasterer Antonio Giuseppe Bossi (diagonally right above Neumann, with a striking cloak).

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (also Giambattista Tiepolo and Giovanbattista Tiepolo ; born March 5, 1696 in Venice , † March 27, 1770 in Madrid ) was one of the most important Venetian painters of the late Baroque and Rococo . His work includes depictions of heroic epics , histories , opera scenes , celebrations of the gods and also altars , in which he enriched a large number of these paintings with putti and cupids.


Giovanni Battista Tiepolo was born in Venice on March 5, 1696, the youngest of six children to his mother Orsetta and father Domenico, who owned a small ship. He was baptized on April 16 of the same year. Tiepolo was sent to his mother's brother to paint his apprenticeship, but oriented himself more closely to Giovanni Battista Piazzetta, fourteen years his senior . His teacher was Gregorio Lazzarini . At the age of 17 he was entered in the guild directory of painters. At the age of 18, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo started his own business, at 21 he became a master. He quickly celebrated successes that made him a sought-after and famous painter. His clients in Venice also included the Bishop of Udine , Daniele Dolfin , who commissioned Tiepolo to paint some of the rooms in the Bishop's Palace and other work.

From 1745 to 1750 Tiepolo was busy with work in the Palazzo Labia in Venice. He then went to Würzburg with his two sons . This made Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, next to Titian, the most important Italian painter who traveled to Germany and worked there. The work in the Würzburg residence is considered Tiepolo's main work. In addition, Tiepolo worked out the "Adoration of the Magi" for the baroque monastery church of Münsterschwarzach in Franconia . After returning to Italy, Tiepolo worked with his son Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo at the Villa Valmarana ai Nani in Vicenza .

Tiepolo saw the end of his life in Madrid . Artistically, he got further and further sidelined because the classicism of the court painter Anton Raphael Mengs became more and more popular. Seven altarpieces for a church in Aranjuez were no longer erected. Giovanni Battista Tiepolo died on March 27, 1770 in Madrid, too weak to return to Italy.

He was the first president of the Accademia di belle arti di Venezia . In 2003 the asteroid (43775) Tiepolo was named after him.


Vision of Saint Clement
Death of Hyacinth

Tiepolo's entire oeuvre can be divided into five creative phases. The first covers the years 1715 to 1730 and thus the early phase of work in Venice and Udine . The first ripening period followed from 1730 to 1749, during which large orders from Bergamo , Milan and other cities fell. The third phase of the classical flowering, in which Tiepolo's journey to Würzburg and the work on Palazzo Labia in Venice and the Villa Valmarana ai Nani near Vicenza fall, and which spans the years 1741 to 1757. The painter's last five years in Venice fell from 1757 to 1762, and the fifth phase of his late works followed in Madrid from 1762 to 1770 .

The works in the Würzburg Residence are considered to be Giovanni Battista Tiepolo's main work. In the stairwell, a ceiling fresco completed in 1753 shows the four continents. In the imperial hall, the pictures show the wedding of Friedrich Barbarossa and Beatrix of Burgundy , as well as the enfeoffment of the prince-bishop with the rights of an imperial prince . Overall, the Würzburg frescoes form an earth-spanning state painting.

Works (selection)


Digital freely available editions, especially those with images

Recent literature (references)

  • Roberto Calasso : Das Rosa Tiepolos , translated from Italian by Reimar Klein, Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-446-23576-2 .
  • Chantal Eschenfelder: Tiepolo. Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, 1696-1770 . Könemann, 2001, ISBN 3-8290-0698-5 .
  • Beverly Louise Brown, Terisio Pignatti, Oreste Ferrari, Teresa Longyear: Giambattista Tiepolo: Master of the Oil Sketch . Abbeville Press, 1994, ISBN 1-55859-284-9 .
  • Keith Christiansen: Giambattista Tiepolo: 1696-1770 . Harry N. Abrams, 1997, ISBN 0-8109-6505-4 .
  • Svetlana Alpers, Michael Baxandall: Tiepolo and the Pictorial Intelligence . Yale University Press, 1994, ISBN 0-300-05978-7 .
  • George Knox: Tiepolo: A Bicentenary Exhibition 1770-1970 Exhibition Catalogs from the Fog Art Museum: A Bicentenary Exhibition, 1770-1970 . Garland Publishing, New York 1978, ISBN 0-8240-1954-7 .
  • Antonio Morassi: GB Tiepolo , Phaidon-Verlag, Cologne 1955.
  • Maria Elisa Avagnina: Tiepolo. The Vicentine Villas . Electa, Milan 1990, ISBN 88-435-3104-2 .
  • Institute for Art History at the University of Würzburg (ed.): Exemplum virtutis: Two history paintings by Giambattista Tiepolo . Sandstein Verlag, Dresden 2011, ISBN 978-3-942422-45-1 .

Web links

Commons : Giovanni Battista Tiepolo  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d Wolfgang Braunfels: Dumont history of the art of Italy . DuMont Literature and Art Publishing, Cologne 2005, ISBN 3-8321-7439-7 , p. 489.
  2. ^ The work of Tiepolo ( Memento of 23 August 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  3. WDR5 Zeitzeichen from March 5, 2011
  4. ^ Wolfgang Braunfels: Dumont history of the art of Italy . DuMont Literature and Art Publishing, Cologne 2005, ISBN 3-8321-7439-7 , p. 490.
  5. ^ History of the Accademia di belle arti di Venezia ( memento of January 29, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) (, Italian), accessed on July 18, 2013
  6. Minor Planet Circ. 47303
  7. ^ Wolfgang Braunfels: Dumont history of the art of Italy . DuMont Literature and Art Publishing, Cologne 2005, ISBN 3-8321-7439-7 , p. 492.
  8. Stefan Kummer : Architecture and fine arts from the beginnings of the Renaissance to the end of the Baroque. In: Ulrich Wagner (Hrsg.): History of the city of Würzburg. 4 volumes; Volume 2: From the Peasants' War in 1525 to the transition to the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1814. Theiss, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-8062-1477-8 , pp. 576–678 and 942–952, here: p. 663.