Giambattista Tiepolo: Master of the Oil Sketch

Edmund R. Pillsbury, Author, Beverly L. Brown, Author, Teresa Longyear, Designed by
Edmund R. Pillsbury, Author, Beverly L. Brown, Author, Teresa Longyear, Designed by Abbeville Press $85 (350p) ISBN 978-1-55859-284-1
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The jewel-like oil sketches of Venetian painter Tiepolo (1696-1770) often possess the grandeur of his larger works, only in miniature. Some of the 63 oil sketches reproduced in this lavish catalogue of an exhibit held last year at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Tex., were quick visual records of finished works; others were preparatory studies, and still others served as the basis for exercises by copyists in his studio. Brown, the exhibit curator, has assembled essays by European and American scholars who discuss Tiepolo's evolution from the playful mythological scenes of his early career to the grave images of religious pathos or ecstasy painted during his final years in Spain. One essay charts the use of preparatory studies in artists ranging from Tintoretto to Rubens. Here we see how Tiepolo's oil sketches startlingly prefigure the Romantic era in their commanding poetry, sophisticated manipulation of color and poignant dramatic effects. (June)
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