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European Art before 1900

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Head of a Philosopher

Giambattista Tiepolo, Italian, (March 5, 1696–March 27, 1770)

Creation date: ca. 1740-1745
Creation place: Italy

Other Information

Type: Oil Painting
Medium and Support: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: Gift of Anne R. and Amy Putnam and commemorating the Silver Jubilee Celebration of Fine Arts Society
Accession Number: 1950.112
State/Province: Venice
Dimensions: 13 5/8 in. x 11 1/4 in. (34.61 cm x 28.58 cm)
Currently on view

Provenance

Hermitage, Saint Petersburg, Russia ( - )

Jacob M. Heimann, New York, New York ( - 1950)

Anne R. and Amy Putnam, New York, New York (1950 - 1950)

San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, California (1950 - )

Label Copy

Giambattista Tiepolo might be called the last representative of the baroque tradition in Italian art, and his fresco cycles and monumental canvases in the grand manner decorated churches and palaces in Venice, Germany, and Spain. The adjacent Rest on the Flight into Egypt, a sketch for a lost painting, gives a good sense of the dramatic baroque style of his earliest works. In the 1750s, Tiepolo began experimenting in a different mode, particularly in two series of etchings, the Capricci and the Scherzi di Fantasia. The prints are Tiepolo’s private dream world of fantastic motifs, filled with hints of the magical and the occult, and peopled by satyrs, clowns, and philoso¬phers from the Orient, who would have conveyed a sense of exoticism to Tiepolo’s audience. This head seems to relate to those in the Scherzi di Fantasia. It is one of relatively few canvases in which Tiepolo painted these motifs, but it would be the inspiration for an entire series of heads of philosophers and similar subjects by his son, Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (1727–1804). Giovanni Battista Tiepolo seems also to have used the Head of an Philosopher as the model for figures in several of his monumental history paintings.
Last Updated: 4/16/2019

Exhibition

This object was included in the following exhibitions:

Circle of Canaletto, no. 39. , 2/21/1971 - 3/21/1971

Venitian Exhibition Santa Barbara Museum of Art , 10/16/1971 - 11/4/1971

Tiepolo in America , 1/8/1978 - 5/7/1978

Giambattista Tiepolo, 1696-1770 , 10/22/1998 - 1/24/1999

Genre and Myth The San Diego Museum of Art , 8/13/2016 - 00/00/00

Bibliography

This object has the following bibliographic references:

Stéphane Loire and José de Los Llanos. Giambattista Tiepolo, 1696-1770 Musée du Petit Palais. Paris, France, 1998
Page Number: 188-190, 193, 317, Figure Number: 59

Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth Century Italian Paintings Harvard University Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1972
Page Number: 197

Julie Dunn, ed. San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 1993
Page Number: 142, Figure Number: 142

Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth Century Italian Paintings Harvard University Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1972
Page Number: 497

Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth Century Italian Paintings Harvard University Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1972
Page Number: 632

The Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego Catalogue: San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 1960
Page Number: 75

Antonio Morassi. A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings of G•B•Tiepolo: Phaidon Press Ltd.. London, England, 1962
Page Number: 47

Antonio Morassi. A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings of G•B•Tiepolo: Phaidon Press Ltd. London, England, 1962
Page Number: 412, Figure Number: 412

Guido Piovene and Anna Pallucchini. L'opera completa di Giambattista Tiepolo Rizzoli Editore. Milano, Italia, November 1968
Page Number: 121, Figure Number: 227

Guido Piovene and Anna Pallucchini. L'opera completa di Giambattista Tiepolo Rizzoli Editore. Milano, Italia, November 1968
Page Number: 48, Figure Number: 48

John D. Morse. Old Master Paintings in North America Abbeville Press Publishers. New York, New York, 1979
Page Number: 255

John D. Morse. Old Masters in America: Rand McNally & Company. New York, New York, 1955
Page Number: 155

Mr. Steven Kern. San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Art. San Diego, California, 2003
Page Number: 116, Figure Number: 116

Mr. George Knox. The Burlington Magazine The Burlington Magazine Publications Ltd. London, England, March 1975
Page Number: 148 note 4

Ms. Laura Muti. Capolavori in Proscenio: Edit Faenza Srl. Faenza, Italia, 2006
Page Number: 222-223, 230 note 24, Figure Number: 25

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