Tiepolo, Giovanni Battista
Italian painter, the last great master of the Venetian school, and the preeminent muralist in the rococo style.
Tiepolo was born in Venice, the son of a merchant. He studied with various Venetian painters but was most influenced by the 16th-century Venetian master Paolo Veronese. Tiepolo was first listed with the painters' guild of Venice in 1717. His patrons in northern Italy included the Venetian doge and several noble families of the region.
Tiepolo's mastery of composition, perspective, color, and light enabled him to take full decorative advantage of architectural spaces. His vast frescoes ignore the boundaries of walls and ceilings, creating convincing illusions of new expanses where biblical, mythological, and historical visions unfold in fluent, elegant lines.
From 1750 to 1753 Tiepolo worked in Wurzburg, Germany, under the patronage of its prince-bishop, for whose palace he painted themes from German history and from classical mythology. In 1754 Tiepolo returned to Venice, where he became director of the Venetian Academy. Frescoes of this period include The Triumph of Faith (1754-1755) in the Church of the Pieta in Venice, scenes for the Villa Valmarana in Vicenza (1757), and decorations for the Palazzo Rezzonico in Venice (1758).
Tiepolo also produced a large number of oil sketches, finished drawings, and imaginative etchings, as well as several altarpieces for Venetian churches. His oil paintings include the Crucifixion (1755-1760, The Saint Louis Art Museum) and Holy Family with Saint Gaetano (Accademia, Venice).
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