Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
Study after Alessandro Vittoria’s Bust of Giulio Contarini
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Italian, 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.