Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
Birthday: March 5, 1696
Died At Age: 74
Sun Sign: Pisces
Also Known As: Gianbattista Tiepolo, Giambattista Tiepolo, Giovanni Tiepolo, Gianbattista
Born in: Venice
Famous as: Painter, Printmaker
Spouse/Ex-: Maria Cecilia Guardi
father: Domenico Tiepolo
mother: Orsetta Tiepolo
children: Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, Giuseppe Tiepolo, Lorenzo Baldissera Tiepolo
Died on: March 27, 1770
place of death: Madrid
City: Venice, Italy
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo was an Italian painter and printmaker. Born into an affluent family, he went on to become one of the most famous painters in Europe during his lifetime. Tiepolo was born in Venice, Italy, and was inspired from the Venetian masters when he had just started his apprenticeship as a budding painter Gregorio Lazzarini. However, the most important thing that needs to be mentioned with respect to the work and craft of Tiepolo is the fact that he was not someone who simply followed in the footsteps of his idols but also gave it his own touch. His paintings were particularly known for a certain level of wit that made it all the more unique and that is visible in all his best works. Following his success as a painter quite early on in his career, he was invited by a prince in Germany to work on their properties and later on he went on to work for the royal family in Spain, which was one of the highlights of his career. Tiepolo also became the president of an academy when he returned to Venice after his stint in Germany. Tiepolo is without doubt one of the most important artists to emerge in the 18th century.
Childhood & Early Life
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo was born in the city of Venice, Italy on 5 March, 1696 to Domenico Tiepolo and Orsetta Tiepolo. Tiepolo’s father had a minor shipping business and the family belonged among the elite families in Italy. Tiepolo was the youngest among six siblings.
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s father passed away when he was only a year old and it is believed that he grew up in a bit of financial strife. However, his talents as a painter were evident and it wasn’t long before he started taking lessons in painting.
At the age of 14 he started training under the guidance of the painter Gregorio Lazzarini and produced his first works a few years later. However, it must also be highlighted here that Tiepolo explored the work of a number of other contemporary artists like Giovanni Battista Piazzetta as well as Sebastinio Ricci and assimilated that into his work.
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He became a member of the guild of painters in the 1717 known as the Fraglia and at the same time he became an independent painter. He had painted his first fresco the previous year but it was three years later that he got his first major commission when he worked on the fresco in the villa belonging to Giambattista Baglione in Massanzago. An element of illusionary effect in aintings became a hallmark of his work.
He was hired by Dioniso Dolfin, member of an influential family and the Archbishop of Udine, to decorate a church at Udine with images inspired from the events in the book of Genesis in 1726. Later on the Archbishop asked him to do the same at his own palace. He followed it up with frescoes like ‘The Glory of St. Theresa’ as well as ‘The Force of Eloquence’.
He was inspired by great Venetian painters but also added his own vision to his work and experts say his works had a certain level of wit to them. In a three year span ending in 1729, Tiepolo completed 10 huge canvas paintings that were meant to adorn the Grand Canal in Venice. Those canvasses are considered to be his masterpieces. He produced several other famous works like Verolanuova and also decorated many well known buildings in Italy.
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo had gained a reputation of being one of the finest artists in the continent and in 1750, he went to Wurzburg, Germany, at the invitation of a Prince. During his three years stay in Germany, he decorated the ceilings at New Residenz palace and also completed the ‘Allegory of the Planets and Continents’.
In 1753 Tiepolo came back to his native Venice from Germany and due to his enhanced reputation was given plenty of important commissions. During this period he created the fresco named ‘Triumph of the Faith’ and also worked on the decoration for houses of wealthy patrons.
Charles III gave Giovanni Battista Tiepolo the commission of painting the fresco at the Royal Place of Madrid in 1761. Tiepolo created the Apotheosis of Spain that recounts the glory of Spanish conquests. Tiepolo also supplied the paintings for the S. Pascual church located in Aranjuez.
He was one of the most famous artists in Europe for a major portion of his life due to his masterful creations but as far as his most important work is concerned it is hard to look past the 10 canvasses he created for the Grand Canal of Venice in 1729.
Personal Life & Legacy
Tiepolo married Maria Cecilia Guardi, who belonged to a noble family, in the year 1719. The couple had nine children, four of which were daughters and among the sons only three survived.
Tiepolo died on 27 March, 1770 at the age of 74 in Madrid, Spain.