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Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

B. in 1696; d. March 27, 1770

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Tiepolo, GIOVANNI BATTISTA (GIAMBATTISTA), b. in Venice in 1696; d. at Madrid, March 27, 1770.

The son of a sea-captain and marine merchant, who left behind him a considerable fortune, Tiepolo married, in 1721, Cecilia, the sister of the painter Guardi, by whom he had nine children. His earliest master was Lazzerini, but his artistic career was derived from a careful study of the works of Titian, Piazzeta, Ricci, and especially Veronese. Up to 1750 he worked in Venice and various places in the north of Italy, painting some remarkable works at Milan, in Brescia, and in one or two villas near Venice. He then, accompanied by his son, traveled to Würzburg, where he resided for three years, executing some magnificent ceiling paintings in the palace of the archbishop. He was back again in Venice in 1753, full of commissions, elected President of the Academy of Padua, and holding high distinction in his native town. In 1761 he accepted the invitation of Charles III, King of Spain, to come to that country to decorate the royal palace of Madrid. Unfortunately, during his residence there he incurred the jealousy and the bitter opposition of Raphael Mengs. He is the last of the great Venetian painters; his works are magnificent in force, brilliance, and skill. As a draughtsman and colorist, few have approached him; as an etcher, he took a high position.

GIOVANNI DOMENICO, son and pupil of the elder Tiepolo, b. in Venice, August 30, 1727; d. there, March 3, 1804. He was his father’s assistant but far inferior in every respect in draughtsmanship and coloring. His best work is the ceiling in the Palazzo Ducale at Genoa. In his latter years, having satisfactory means, he retired to a villa near Venice and lived in comfort. His marriage had taken place in 1776, and was a scene of great pomp and magnificence. His widow married again after his decease, and the male line of Tiepolo died out with him.


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