Giambattista Tiepolo (1696–1770) was the greatest Italian painter of the eighteenth century, best known for his monumental frescoes and epic altarpieces. The scale of these paintings is immense, even overpowering. Yet some of Tiepolo's finest work can be found in the small oil sketches that he often made in preparation for these grand commissions.
Published to coincide with an exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum from May 3 to September 4, 2005, Giambattista Tiepolo: Fifteen Oil Sketches brings together a group of the artist's oil sketches from the Courtauld Institute in London that spans his entire career and reveals the amazing confidence and fluidity with which he created these paintings. The unusual intimacy of these preparatory sketches—made directly on the canvas with no preliminary underdrawing—reveals a great artist's vigorous imagination at work.
An introductory essay situates these works within the context of eighteenth-century art and Tiepolo's life and career.
Jon Seydl is former assistant curator in the Department of Paintings at the J. Paul Getty Museum.
8 x 11 inches
42 color and 23 b/w illustrations
Imprint: J. Paul Getty Museum