Thursday, October 16, 2008


TIEPOLO 1696-1770

Discovery of the True Cross


diameter 490 cm
192.9 in

The Beheading of John the Baptist

350 x 300 cm
137.8 x 118.1 in

Allegory of the Planets and Continents

(oil sketch proposal)


185 x 139 cm
72.8 x 54.7 in

The Institution of the Rosary


1200 x 450 cm
472.4 x 177.2 in

The Triumph of Zephyr and Flora


395 x 225 cm
155.5 x 88.5 in

Becca Lynn
Large Format Painting
Chris Barnard
Art History Presentation: Tiepolo
30 September 2008

The vibrantly imaginative style of Gaimbattista (Giavanni Battista) Tiepolo was immediately appealing to me as a viewer. The choice of color and arrangement of figures in action provides an endless path for the eye to travel and explore. But I was almost dumbfounded when I opened some of the books to reveal the images of the huge frescos in place in the walls and ceilings of various buildings – not because of there immense size, but because of the point of view. Tiepolo’s ability as a draughtsman helped him to create the incredible perspectives. The angle of “looking up”, feeling as though I had to put my head back to see the action, and of the reaction of figures in the frescos to that angle, some with legs and limbs and clothing draping over the edge of the work, and some even looking down at the ground below them. The contrast between the darkness of the figures in the foreground and the light airiness in the sky, in works like Allegory of the Planets and Continents, and America, creates an open sky that seems to go on forever, with receding figures on top of clouds floating up into that forever. As the viewer, I indeed felt very small, even as I was only looking at reproductions in a book.

I also enjoyed reading about his spontaneity as an artist, his quick instinctive style, which lead to, in later days, a rougher style, with almost seems ahead of his time. He was known as a gentleman, noble to his fellow artists, even though it is said they grew jealous of his inventive work and the demand for his commission.

Question/thought for the class:

Tiepolo was known for working instinctively, quickly, and I think, for his time, there is an interesting level of "truth" in his work. ("Truth" being that question which we are trying to deal with in our abstract studies.) Do you folks think that the instinctive-ness and spontaneity lend to that truth? Does the immense size have anything to do with it? Is there any truth?

or is it all just lies?....

No comments: