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Study of two figures - Giovanni Battista TIEPOLO (1696-1770)
Ref : 110941
39 000 €
Period :
18th century
Artist :
Giovanni Battista TIEPOLO (1696-1770)
Provenance :
Medium :
Pen and brown ink wash over black stone lines
Dimensions :
l. 8.15 inch X H. 8.66 inch
Galerie Tarantino

Antiquities, Old masters paintings and drawings

+33 (0)6 15 44 68 46
Study of two figures - Giovanni Battista TIEPOLO (1696-1770)

Study of two figures
Giovanni Battista TIEPOLO (Venice, 1696- Madrid, 1770)

About the middle or second half of the 1740's

Pen and brown ink wash over black stone lines

220 x 207 mm

Provenance: Private collection, Massachussets, then art market, New York, as attributed to Giandomenico Tiepolo

This attractive study by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo depicts a group of two figures whose identities and relationships seem rather mysterious. On the left, a bearded man wearing a sort of cap and adorned with a medallion could be a priest or a biblical figure. The young woman lying bare-chested in the foreground offers her right arm to a snake, which coils around it, while her left hand holds a book of some kind.

This mysterious iconography leads us to speculate on the identity of the characters: the goddess Hygie, associated with Asclepius, two divinities charged with watching over health. It could be Cleopatra, but then we wonder what connection the latter might have with the figure behind her, or a woman witnessing the episode of the Bronze Serpent, as in the painting by Giovanni Battista housed at the Accademia in Venice. It could also be the Egyptian goddess Isis, depicted in an ancient fresco subduing snakes with a priest behind her.

We would like to thank Professor Bernard Aikema for kindly confirming the authenticity of this drawing: "The drawing is an excellent so-called 'cluster-drawing' by GB Tiepolo, which could be used by the artist with variations for more than one painted celining. I would date this sheet perhaps to the mid- to late 1740s; the group shows some resemblance to GB's ceiling painting in Vicenza, Museo Civico (G & P 300)".

Galerie Tarantino


Drawing & Watercolor