Giambattista Tiepolo: His Life and Art

Michael Levey, Author
Michael Levey, Author Yale University Press $70 (302p) ISBN 978-0-300-03018-1
Reviewed on: 02/01/1987
Release date: 02/01/1987
At the age of 20, Tiepolo astonished Venice with Crossing of the Red Sea, a forceful, baroque canvas. Nearly six decades later, as an old man in Madrid, his frescoes of cosmic proportions for the Royal Palace awed the Spanish court. Sheer industry and confidence in his artistic mission sustained this Venetian master. His aim was to create an alternative universe of light and color; he saw light as divine, and it gave clarity and vitality to his images. Claiming to be the first full-length book on Tiepolo to be written in English, this splendidly illustrated study by the director of London's National Gallery shows us many sides of an artist who could be broadly comic or solemn and didactic. His caricaturesbizarre etchings of Punchinellos and dwarf-like humansare the mellow musings of a sage. His landscapes reveal meticulous observation of nature. Born in Venice when it was still the capital of an empire, this socially conservative artist blazed a uniquely personal style that was quintessentially Venetian. (February 18)
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