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Art & Design

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Study after Alessandro Vittoria’s Bust of Giulio Contarini

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo Italian, 1696-1770
Study after Alessandro Vittoria’s Bust of Giulio Contarini, ca. 1743
Chalk on paper
23.6 x 16.5 cm (9 5/16 x 6 1/2 inches) approx.
Museum Works of Art Fund 48.427

  • Eighteenth-century artists honed their skills by sketching earlier works of art, and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, a dominant presence in the Venetian artistic world, was no exception. He was particularly fascinated by the creations of his sixteenth-century Venetian predecessors, among them Titian, Veronese, and Tintoretto. This chalk drawing is one of several studies Tiepolo made after the Bust of Giulio Contarini, a portrait sculpted by Venetian artist Alessandro Vittoria (1524-1608). Tiepolo rendered the face from a slightly raised viewpoint and skillfully cropped it. Tiepolo’s virtuoso line work highlights the naturalistic outlines of the face and the pathos in the eyes of the sitter.

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