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The Venetian Charlatan
Tiepolo, Giovanni Domenico
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Tiepolo, Giovanni Domenico

Venice (Italy), 1727 - Venice (Italy), 1804

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The Venetian Charlatan

Ca. 1765. Oil on canvas.
Room 023

These two paintings (P7804 and P7805) are part of a series on similar subjects, yet they stand out among Giandomenico`s work. These works are small depictions of everyday life in Venice, exquisitely rendered with a very agile touch that reflects the technical skills Giandomenico learnt from his father. This genre work is infrequent in Giandomenico`s oeuvre. In Spain the only known works of this sort are at the Museu Nacional d`Art de Catalunya; the rest of the present series and another pair of similar paintings were originally in the Cambó Collection. They belong to a long and varied tradition of depicting everyday life in the campi and canals, rooted in the fifteenth century works of Gentile Bellini, Vittore Carpaccio and Lazzaro Bastiani. In the following centuries the tradition continued in the work of Bonifacio de` Pitati, Paolo Veronese and his sons, Federico Zuccaro, the Bassano family, and Heintz the younger, culminating in the eighteenth century with brilliant examples by Giandomenico and, with differing levels of success, by artists such as Antonio Guardi, Antonio Baratti, Gabriele Bella, Gaspare Diziani, Pietro Longhi and Giuseppe Bernardino Bison. These works depict and sometimes ridicule Venetian society in a spirit of observation that immortalises an increasingly fragile world, the annihilation of which Giandomenico lived to witness.

Stylistically both works are linked to those of the former Blake Collection, originally in Kansas City, United States, and now in private hands in Rome. The Venetian charlatan, c.1765, was engraved by Joseph Wagner in 1777 with the caption: Jo. Dominicus Tiepolo pinx.

Giandomenico Tiepolo was the son of Giambattista Tiepolo and also his pupil and collaborator. While he drew many of his ideas and techniques from his father`s work, Giandomenico also developed his own personal mode of expression, which freed him from slavishly following Giambattista`s aesthetics. His genre work is marked by a tendency towards intimism, and his caricatures are caustic and purely humorous by turns. This distanced him from the pomposity of the world of gods, kings, myths and symbols that characterised his father`s oeuvre.

Giandomenico absorbed the use of colours, drawing and general quality of his father`s work, and accompanied him on many of his trips around Italy, as well as to Germany and Spain. He also learnt to adapt those technical and aesthetic principles to serve his capacity for anecdotal expression, which he enriched with light and luminous tonalities that favoured the sense of reality he wished to achieve.

Luna, J.J, Giandomenico Tiepolo 'The Venetian charlatan' En:. Italian masterpieces from Spain's royal court, Museo del Prado, National Gallery of Victoria Thames & Hudson, 2014, p.228


Technical data

Related artworks

Inventory number
Tiepolo, Giovanni Domenico
The Venetian Charlatan
Ca. 1765
Height: 34 cm; Width: 58.1 cm
Bequest of Isabel de Borbón y Esteban de León, Marquioness of Balboa, 2002

Bibliography +

Sánchez Cantón, Francisco Javier (1891-1971)), J. B. Tiepolo en España /, Instituto Diego Velázquez., Madrid, 1953, pp. 27.

Martin-Méry, Gilberte, De Tiepolo a Goya. Catalogue, Delmas, Burdeos, 1956, pp. 28.

Morassi, Antonio, A complete catalogue of the paintings of G.B. Tiepolo: inclu, Phaidon Press, Londres, 1962, pp. 22.

Mariuz, Adriano, Giandomenico Tiepolo, Alfieri, Venecia, 1965, pp. 124.

Morassi, A., ''Giandomenico Tiepolo''. En: Enciclopedia Universale dell'Arte, Venecia-Roma, 1965.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Memoria de actividades 2002, Madrid, 2003, pp. 28.

Maurer, G., Goya: lo bello y lo recóndito. En: La belleza encerrada: de Fra Angelico a Fortuny, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2013, pp. 359.

Mena Marqués, M.; Albarrán, V., La belleza encerrada: de Fra Angelico a Fortuny, folleto, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2013, pp. 49 n.213-n.214.

Luna, J.J, Giandomenico Tiepolo 'The Venetian charlatan' En:, Italian masterpieces from Spain's royal court, Museo del Prado, National Gallery of Victoria Thames & Hudson, 2014, pp. 228.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 2627.

Exhibitions +

Goya y la corte ilustrada
14.02.2018 - 28.05.2018

Goya y la corte ilustrada
27.09.2017 - 21.01.2018

Italian Masterpieces from Spain's Royal Court. Museo Nacional del Prado
16.05.2014 - 31.08.2014

Captive Beauty. Fra Angelico to Fortuny
21.05.2013 - 10.11.2013

Location +

Room 023 (On Display)


Displayed objects +


Chair / Armchair



Update date: 05-11-2021 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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