Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (Venice 1727-1804 Venice) Putti and Amorini

Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (Giandomenico) was a pupil of his father, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Giambattista) (1696-1770) where he initially copied after his father. He was his father's assistant for several decades.

The dimensions as well as handling of the figures, style and composition of our drawing is closely related to the series of over 160 drawings of mythological and religious subjects from the collection of The 8th Earl Beauchamp, sold in the rooms of Christie's, London. The Beauchamp album originally might have been assembled by Giandomenico's uncle, Francesco Guardi (1712-1792).[1]

Although these drawings are signed and seem to be meant for the markt, Giandomenico appears to have drawn mainly for his own pleasure and kept most of his drawings in albums untill his death in 1804, after which the albums were auctioned and drawings were dispersed into the market separately.[2]

It remains uncertain why Giovanni Domenico made these lighthearted series of "Putti and Amorini" although these drawings may have been inspired by Giambattista's "Stanza dei Putti" at the Villa Valmarana. Another possible source of inspiration might be the ceiling painting by Giandomenico in the Musée Rothschild-Ephrussi, Cap-Ferrat.

Our drawing shows a typically fine example of Giandomenico's most known and lighthearted theme, that of a most frolic swarm of playful putti and Amors, tumbling weightlessly in the clouds. Amor, on the lower right who has just launched his arrow gazing whether he was successful.

The use of pen and grey ink with brown wash is typically for the mature style of Giandomenico and therefore these series of drawings should be dated after Domenico's return to Venice in 1770 after the sudden death of his father.

 

 

 

[1] The Earl Beauchamp, Christie's, London, 15 June 1965.

[2] James Byam Shaw, The Drawings of Domenico Tiepolo. Boston, MA, Boston Book & Art Shop, 1962.


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