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Artists - ArtWorks

Name of the Artist / Artwork:

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Country: Italy
Century: 1700 - The 18th Century
Art Period:

Neoclassic Art in Italy

Synthetic Chronology:

In 1726, Tiepolo worked on the frescoes for the stairwell and the rooms on the first floor, of the Patriarchal Palace (now the Archiepiscopal Palace) in Udine. This project had been commissioned by Dionisio Dolfin (1663-1734), a member of a Venetian family.
In the centre of the stairwell ceiling, Tiepolo frescoed the Fall of the Rebel Angels, which he surrounded with eight scenes from the book of Genesis. He then went on to decorate the Gallery, the Red Room and the Throne Room.
The Gallery features scenes from the lives of the Old Testament patriarchs, inspired by the book of Genesis. The three main episodes, The Three Angels appearing to Abraham, Rachel Hiding the Idols from her Father Labanand The Angel appearing to Sarah are each surrounded by a trompe-l'oeil frame. They are hung alternately with portraits of prophetesses, which create the illusion of being statues in niches along the walls. On the ceiling, a depiction of The Sacrifice of Isaac occupies centre position, flanked by smaller oval compartments portraying Hagar in the Wilderness and Jacob's Dream.
Tiepolo was aided in the realization of this famous ensemble by Girolamo Mengozzi Colonna (1688-1766), with whom he continued to work closely during the years that followed.
On the ceiling of the Red Room, Tiepolo painted The Judgement of Solomon, surrounded by portraits of the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel - a theme appropriate to a room used both as a civil and ecclesiastical tribunal.
The ambitious pictorial program of the overall decoration was probably conceived by Dionisio Dolfin himself, with the help of his theological advisers, including Francesco Florio, his vicar-general. The subjects chosen for the pictures were intended to reinforce the legitimacy of the ruling patriarchy, which at that time found itself at the centre of a fierce politico-ecclesiastical struggle between Venice and Vienna. The decoration of the Patriarchal Palace in Udine unquestionably represents the highest point in Tiepolo's early career.
By portraying figures in 16th century dress, and placing them in landscapes bathed in sun and light, he recalls the scenes of Veronese.
The decisive element in this project is that the subject of the picture is presented in a staged scene as if it was in a theatre.
Tiepolo thus transformed the inspiration of Veronese's art into a pictorial language that was to confirm his own reputation as a representative of the Venetian tradition.


Giambattista was initially a pupil of Gregorio Lazzarini, but the influences from elder contemporaries such as Sebastiano Ricci and Giovanni Battista Piazzetta are stronger in his work. At 19 years of age, Tiepolo completed his first major commission, the Sacrifice of Isaac (now in the Accademia). He left Lazzarini studio in 1717, and was received into the Fraglia guild of painters.
In 1719, Tiepolo married Maria Cecilia Guardi, sister of two contemporary Venetian painters Francesco and Giovanni Antoni Guardi. Together, Tiepolo and his wife had nine children. Four daughters and three sons survived childhood. Two sons, Domenico and Lorenzo, painted with him as his assistants and achieved some independent recognition. His third son became a priest.

National Comparative:

Rome and Southern Italy
1709 Ruins of the ancient city of Herculaneum are uncovered. This is followed by the excavation, in 1748, of Pompeii The archaeological watershed of these two events prompts a surge of renewed interest in the world of antiquity and fuels the Neoclassical movement in literature and the arts.
• 1723 Pope Innocent XIII (r. 1721–24) accepts the designs of Francesco de Sanctis (died 1731) for the Spanish Steps, an elaborate system of staircases and landings designed to facilitate movement between two neighborhoods, previously impeded by a steep hill. The Spanish steps are completed in 1726. The steps are conceived by Innocent's predecessor, Clement XI (r. 1700–1721), as part of a rigorous program of urban development that has as its chief aim the enhancement of public spaces for great beauty as well as practical function.
• 1740 The young Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778) arrives in Rome. The wide scope of Piranesi's education in his native Veneto includes engineering, theatrical set design, and engraving. During his formative years he also develops a keen interest in architecture, particularly that of classical antiquity. While in Rome, Piranesi produces the imaginative yet meticulously studied etchings of architectural monuments that place him among the greatest topographical engravers of all time.
• 1743 The Capodimonte porcelain factoryis established in Naples by Charles VII, king of Naples and Sicily (r. 1734–59). Under chief modeler Giuseppe Gricci (1700–1770), the factory produces painted white-paste tableware, snuffboxes, and small sculptures, often of single figures or groups of characters from the commedia dell'arte. When Charles ascends the throne of Spain (as Charles III, r. 1759–88), the factory is closed and transferred along with many of its artisans to the palace of Buen Retiro on the outskirts of Madrid.
• mid-18th century Giovanni Paolo Panini (1691–1765) is famed for his vedute and capriccios. These compositional types are closely linked to the educational phenomenon of the Grand Tour and gain widespread popularity in the early years of the century, particularly in Rome and Venice. The painted, drawn, or printed veduta depicts a landscape or urban view that is usually topographically correct, while the capriccio combines the real with fantasy elements (often of classical architectural ruins) to picturesque effect. Panini enlivens his scenes with the incorporation of minutely rendered figures, often gathered at a festival, fair, or ceremonial event.
• 1762 The adornment of piazzas, palazzos, and structures of both official and private function with fountains, a practice that flourishes during this period, culminates with the completion of the most monumental fountain in Rome: the Fontana di Trevi It is commissioned in 1732 from Nicola Salvi (1697–1751) in collaboration with Giovanni Battista Maini (1690–1752) and completed by Pietro Bracci (1700–1773). Set against the formal facade of the Palazzo Poli, the lordly figure of Oceanus presides over tritons and rearing seahorses amidst waters gushing over fantastic rock formations.
• from mid-18th century Pompeo Girolamo Batoni (1708–1787) is the leading painter in Rome, whose portraits are especially prized by foreign travelers on the Grand Tour. Early in his career, Batoni makes a living by producing masterful drawings after antique statuary, a practice that reflects his interest in the classical world and contributes to the Neoclassical tendencies of his mature paintings. Two pictures in the Metropolitan Museum, Portrait of a Young Man (03.37.1) and Diana and Cupid (1982.438), display Batoni's accomplishment as a portraitist of extraordinary refinement and point strongly to his classical inspirations.
• 1772 The influential engraver Giovanni Volpato (1740–1803) moves to Rome, where he opens a porcelain factory that specializes in the production of small statues after classical Roman models. In the same year, he publishes the Principj del disegno tratti dalle più eccellenti statue antiche. An important proponent of Neoclassicism, Volpato inspires a generation of Roman engravers
• 1795 Sculptor Antonio Canova (1757–1822), the leading Neoclassical sculptor of the day, exhibits the lifesize marble sculpture Venus and Adonis (Villa La Grange, Geneva) in Naples to great acclaim. Canova emulates the ancients but imbues the amorously entwined figures with an astonishing grace and refinement of modeling that secure his reputation as the greatest living sculptor of mythological subjects.
Florence and Central Italy

ca. 1700 Florentine Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655–1731) develops a keyboard instrument on which the player can modulate volume solely by changing the force with which the keys are struck. He calls the instrument gravicembalo col piano e forte (harpsichord with soft and loud), known today as the piano.
• 1720–31 Architect Alessandro Galilei (1691–1737) is active in Florence and elsewhere in Tuscany. Galilei's projects during this period—including the renovation of the choir of Cortona Cathedral to include a minimally ornamented triumphal arch, additions to the Villa Venuti, near Cortona, and a design (1724) for the oratory of the Church of the Madonna del Vivaio (destroyed, later restored) in Scarperia, Tuscany—reflect his adherence to a classical architectural vocabulary and his rejection of Baroque ornament in favor of purity of design. Galilei is one of the greatest proponents of the Neoclassical style in Italy.
• 1737 At the death of Gian Gastone de' Medici (r. 1723–37)—an intemperate ruler whose reputation in youth for scholarly interests and intellectual capacity is superseded during his reign for that of decadence and debauchery—the title of Grand Duke of Tuscany passes to the House of Lorraine. The first Lorraine ruler is Francis Stephen (r. 1737–65), husband of Maria Theresa of Austria.
• 1739 Luigi Vanvitelli (1700–1773) constructs the church and monastery complex of Montemorcino (completed 1762) in Perugia. While some interior motifs are inspired by the Baroque structures of Bernini, the clarity of the centralized plan takes Palladian design as its main influence and marks a shift toward the Neoclassical style that predominates in the second half of the eighteenth century.
• 1758 Giovanni Battista Passeri (1694–1780) publishes Istorie delle pitture in majolica fatte in Pesaro e ne' luoghi circonvicini, a treatise that praises the maiolica workshops in Pesaro as the equal of those at Faenza, Urbino, and Venice. The pottery industry at Pesaro, an important center of production since the Renaissance, experiences a particular surge of success during the mid-eighteenth century due to the mastery of several notable craftsmen working in the city: Giuseppe Bertolucci, Antonio Casali, Filippo Antonio Callegari, and Pietro Lei.
• 1769 Sculptor Innocenzo Spinazzi (1726–1798) arrives in Florence. Born and trained in Rome, Innocenzo is skilled in the stylistic vocabulary of the antique as well as that of its contemporary exponents. In 1770, he is named court sculptor to Grand Duke Leopold I (r. 1765–90; later Emperor Leopold II, r. 1790–92), who he depicts in classical dress in a commanding portrait bust of 1771–74 (Palazzo Pitti, Florence). Spinazzi is the foremost sculptor working in Florence during this period, and serves also as professor of sculpture at the Accademia di Belle Arti from 1784 until his death.
• 1799 General Napoleon I (1769–1821) invades Tuscany; French forces occupy Florence until 1814.
Venice and Northern Italy

ca. 1712 Bolognese artist Giuseppe Maria Crespi (1665–1747) paints a series of canvases depicting the Seven Sacraments (now Dresden, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister). Among the the first Italian masters to seriously treat genre themes, Crespi imbues the sacramental subject with the intimacy and quiet dignity of everyday occurrences. In other works, including a set of illustrations for the popular stories Bertoldo e Bertoldino by Giulio Cesare Croce (ca. 1550–1609), he uses the genre theme to highly comic effect.
• 1714 Filippo Juvarra (1678–1736) is appointed architect to Victor Amadeus II, fifteenth duke of Savoy (r. 1675–1730) and king of Sicily (r. 1713–20), and moves to Turin, where he works for two decades. One of his first commissions there is for a votive church and monastery at Superga, overlooking Turin. The domed, central-plan structure with a temple portico and flanking towers is markedly inspired by classical models as well as contemporary Roman structures by Bernini and Borromini. The interior of the church is richly decorated with stuccowork and carving. Juvarra is prolific in Turin, designing over twenty structures, most of which are palaces.
• 1720 The house of Savoy unites Piedmont, Savoy, and Sardinia to create the kingdom of Sardinia.
• 1720 Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778) is born in Mogliano in the Veneto region of northern Italy. He spends the first decades of his life in Venice and studies under various masters; the wide scope of his education includes engineering, theatrical set design, and engraving. During his formative years, he also develops a keen interest in architecture, particularly that of classical antiquity. The young Piranesi leaves the Veneto in 1640 for Rome, where he produces the imaginative yet meticulously studied etchings of architectural monuments that place him among the greatest topographical engravers of all time.
• 1722–23 Some of Venice's best artists collaborate on a series of paintings—each by a different artist and representing one of the twelve apostles—to adorn the spandrels of Andrea Stazio's parish church of San Stae. The finest of these works is the Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696–1770), a young painter active as an independent master since 1717. The great success of this grandly dramatic composition is among the first in a career marked by even greater triumphs.
• 1723 Venetian painter and pastellist Rosalba Carriera (1675–1757) is invited to the Este court at Modena to paint likenesses of the daughters of the ducal household. Carriera's sensitive and refined portraits—both miniature and lifesize—earn her great renown throughout Italy and much of Europe. During her long career, she is admitted to academies in Rome, Bologna, and Paris, and numbers among her illustrious clientele the Grand Duke Cosimo III de' Medici and Frederick Augustus II, elector of Saxony (an avid collector of her pastels), as well as members of the British and French aristocracy.
• 1726–29 Tiepolo, only thirty years old but already famed and considered the most promising artist in Venice, executes ten canvases of Roman battles and triumphs for the salone of the Ca' Dolfin. Three of these monumental works, The Triumph of Marius, The Capture of Carthage, and The Battle of Vercellae, are now in the Metropolitan Museum.
• 1740–45 Tiepolo provides notable decoration for three secular structures: the ceiling fresco Chariot of the Sun (1740) for the Palazzo Clerici, Milan; a series of scenes entitled The Family of Darius before Alexander and The Magnanimity of Scipio (1743) for the Villa Cordellina, Montecchio Maggiore; and (with the collaboration of Girolamo Mengozzi Colonna), The Meeting of Anthony and Cleopatra and The Banquet of Cleopatra (ca. 1744) for the Palazzo Labia, Venice. The painter's style matures as he handles these subjects from ancient history, particularly the Palazzo Labia frescoes, which effect a serious grandeur and great dramatic tension.
• 1740s Venetian painter Pietro Longhi (1702–1785) turns from large-scale religious works to the genre scenes for which he is chiefly known. A skilled draftsman, Longhi's renderings of domestic interiors capture in their precision and delicacy of detail an intimacy that may take the work of Dutch masters as inspiration.
• 1762 A worldly scholar, collector, and critic, Francesco Algarotti (1712–1764) publishes a treatise on painting, Saggio sopra la pittura. Though presenting detailed instruction to the artist regarding matters of composition, perspective, and anatomy, the learned author's field of authority extends far beyond the realm of the visual arts to include the sciences (particularly the recent discoveries of British physicist Isaac Newton), architecture, and philosophy—subjects which he often elucidates in witty essays written throughout his career. His travels in Italy and to England, France, and Germany set him in the orbit of illustrious contemporaries and Enlightenment thinkers such as French writer and philosopher Voltaire (1694–1778) and Frederick the Great of Prussia (r. 1740–86).
• 1770s The young sculptor Antonio Canova (1757–1822) studies in Venice and produces his first independent works. He wins second place in a competition at the Accademia (1775) with a small terracotta group, about the same time also winning the patronage of Senator Giovanni Falier. Canova produces statues of Orpheus and Eurydice (1775–77) for Falier's garden at Pradazzi di Asolo (now Venice, Museo Correr). The works earn him great acclaim and further commissions, including one from procurator Pietro Pisani. The nude marble figures of Daedalus and Icarus, Canova's work for Pisani carved 1778–79, take profound inspiration from classical sculpture. In the following decade, Canova travels to Rome, where he becomes one of the chief proponents of Neoclassicism and one of the greatest artists working in this style.
• 1776–78 The Teatro alla Scala is built in Milan. Designed by Giuseppe Piermarini (1734–1808) and financed by the theater patrons of the city, the Neoclassical exterior houses a U-shaped auditorium with six tiers of private boxes. By this time a standard feature of Baroque theater design, the private box came into use early in the previous century and can be found in Alfonso Rivarola's (1607–1640) tournament theater in Bologna. La Scala, though greatly altered and redecorated since its opening, is still in use today.
• 1786–87 Felice Giani (1758–1823) executes his earliest known commissions in the city of Faenza (Emilia-Romagna). The first is a Triumph of Titus (1786) for the Galleria dei Cento Pacifici, and the second, a series of scenes from ancient history and myth (1787) for the Palazzo Conti Sinibaldi. Giani's strongly Neoclassical style is influenced in part by study of classical art in Rome, where he resides in 1785 and 1787–93. He returns to Faenza in 1794 and for two years works on a decorative prgram, centering on the mythological tale of Psyche, for the Palazzo Laderchi. For the painting and stuccowork involved in this and later large-scale projects, he gathers a team of artists that includes decorative painter Gaetano Bertolani (1758/89–1856) and sculptor Antonio Trentanove (ca. 1745–1812). The artists execute other commissions in Emilia-Romagna as well as in Rome, Venice, and the Veneto. Giani is also an accomplished and prolific draftsman.
• 1797 The Republic of Venice falls at the hands of French general Napoleon I (1769–1821). Entering Northern Italy the previous year in an early phase of the French Revolutionary wars, Napoleon triumphs in battle against Austrian forces at Lodi, Milan, Mantua, Arcole, and Rivoli. From the conquered territories, including the former duchies of Milan, Modena, Bologna, Ferrara, and the Romagna, he forms the Cisalpine Republic (uniting two republics, the Transpadane and Cispadane, formed the previous year), with Milan as its capital. Napoleon's progress across the Alps to Vienna is arrested by several threats, and he arranges the Treaty of Campo Formio, signed with Austria in October 1797. By this treaty, the region of Venetia east of the Adige River, as well as Istria and Dalmatia, are ceded to Austria; the Ionian Islands (Venetian possessions in present-day Greece) are taken by France; and Bergamo, Brescia, and the duchy of Mantua are incorporated into the Cisalpine Republic.

Artistic Analysis:

Oil on canvas; Irregular painted surface, 220 x 128 5/8 in. (558.8 x 326.7 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1965 (65.183.1)
The subject of this triumphal procession is identified by a Latin inscription at the top of the canvas from the Roman historian Lucius Anneus Florus (Epitome of Roman History, 36:17): "The Roman people behold Jugurtha laden with chains." The African king Jugurtha is shown descending a hill before his captor, the Roman general Gaius Marius. A youth beats a tambourine while other figures carry booty, including a bust of the mother goddess Cybele. The thirty-year-old Tiepolo included his portrait among the figures at the left. The procession was held on January 1, 104 B.C. The picture—a masterpiece of Tiepolo's early maturity—is from a series of ten canvases painted about 1725–29 to decorate the main room of the Ca' Dolfin, Venice.

The Apotheosis of the Spanish Monarchy, sketch for a ceiling painting
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Italian, Venetian, 1696–1770)
Oil on canvas; Oval painted surface, 33 1/8 x 27 1/8 in. (84.1 x 68.9 cm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, 1980 (1980.363)
This oil sketch for the ceiling of the saleta adjacent to the throne room of the Palacio Real, Madrid, differs from an alternative version (37.165.3) in the prominence given to Jupiter and his eagle and to Apollo, god of the sun and patron of the arts. Elements of both versions were used in the final fresco.

In total contrast to Baroque, the Rococo style dances, plays itself out completely. Its lilting tones sing with the passion of the castrati, glorifying God with the fervor of an entire era.
This very fervor comes through in the work of the Venetian painter Jean-Baptiste Tiepolo, for instance in his "La Montée au Calvaire" (The Way to Calvary), one of the rare episodes of the Christian epic he chose to stage. What we see here goes counter to all that precedes it: gone from the scene are the dark-light essentiality, immobilism, silence and, above all, vital confidentiality between the viewer and the work. This work lives autonomously, exalting its own prowess, dancing and singing to its own glory.
Clearly, all the lines of this work progress upwards, towards the heights of Golgotha. The colors too - all the reds, blues, whites, golds, yellows, flesh colors in various shades - all progress upwards. The artist obviously enjoyed playing with space, producing something that is basically theatrical. In its contrast with the work of Caravaggio, Meylan, Guido Reni, van der Werff and Piazzetta, this painting serves as a masterful introduction to pictorial Rococo.
It also points the way to architecture: just as the Baroque paintings led us to the Il Gésu choir in Rome, so this painting by Tiepolo guides us to Rococo architecture, in particular as exemplified by Bavarian constructions. Here again, we will find ourselves far from the austere cult of the divine mystery. Instead, we will be confronted with works that translate a stylistic explosion accomplished with supreme mastery.

Transnational Comparative Analysis:

1712 Painter Jean Antoine Watteau (1684–1721) is admitted to the Académie Royale. His reception piece, The Pilgrimage to the Isle of Cythera (submitted 1717), is a scene in which delicately rendered figures amble and repose in an idyllic landscape. Because this type of composition, characteristic of Watteau's oeuvre, is unprecedented at the Académie, a new category—the fête galante, literally an "elegant party"—is created expressly for his admission. Watteau also frequently depicts characters from the Italian theater, the commedia dell'arte in similarly pastoral settings; Mezzetin (34.138) one such example. Inspired by Rubens's colorism and sixteenth-century Venetian painting in compositions that are by turns playful and wistful, Watteau's works embody a refined fragility that make him a major proponent of Rococo style. Watteau is also a skilled draftsman who uses the technique of drawing in black, red, and white chalks—known as trois crayons—to effectively render the nuances of human form and flesh. His acceptance by the Académie illustrates the shift away from a rigid classical style that occurs after the death of Le Brun.
• 1715 At his great-grandfather's death, Louis XV (1710–1774) is king of France. Philippe II, duc d'Orléans, serves as regent until his death in 1723; from 1726 until 1743, the monarch is aided by André Hercule de Fleury. Lacking in the absolutist preoccupations of his predecessor as well as the finances to sustain them, Louis is a weak leader and easily influenced by favorites, who attain considerable power at court. Chief among them are his mistresses, Madame de Pompadour (1721–1764) and her successor, the comtesse du Barry (1743–1793). During Louis's reign, the grand drama of the Baroque gives way to a highly ornate but intimate style of great delicacy and refinement known as Rococo (from coquillage and rocaille, which refers to decoration with irregularly shaped stones and shells). This period marks a golden age of French furniture and decorative arts, as architects, designers, and artisans work together to create interior spaces of such splendor and sophistication that the line between function and ornament is blurred. Nicolas Pineau's (1684–1754) room of about 1735 from the Hôtel de Varengeville, Paris, is one such example of this style.
• 1728 Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin (1699–1779) is accepted into the Académie as a "painter skilled in animals and fruits." In contrast to the narrative, often historical subjects chosen by his most illustrious contemporaries, Chardin paints still lifes and interiors that are themselves pervaded by a sense of great stillness. His Silver Tureen (59.9) dates from this year.
• 1731 François Boucher (1703–1770) returns to Paris after a three-year stay in Italy, where he studies the works of Baroque masters as well as Italian and Dutch landscapists and Venetian vedute. He is soon received by the Académie Royale (1734) and numbers among his patrons King Louis XV (r. 1715–74) and Madame de Pompadour, the king's mistress (Boucher's paintings—with their bright palette and sentimental or erotic themes—as well as his prolific designs for furniture, tapestry, and other decorative objects, exemplify the spirit of the Rococo.
• 1732 Jean-Marc Nattier (1685–1766) paints Mlle de Lambesc as Minerva with the Comte de Brionne (Louvre); the idealized, mythologizing portrait type secures for Nattier great popularity at court and remains fashionable until late in his career.
• 1737 The Salon, an annual exhibition of paintings selected by a jury of artists from the Académie, is permanently established; it is held at the Salon Carré of the Louvre.
• 1745 Louis XV allows the pottery at Vincennes to manufacture porcelain bearing the royal fleur-de-lis emblem; pleased with its output, he later moves the factory to Sèvres (1756), near the château of Madame de Pompadour. The workshops at Sèvres produce costly objects such as small sculptural figures, tableware, vases, clock , and plaques with brilliant ground colors, delicate enamels, and gold borders and scrollwork.
• mid-18th century The Enlightenment flourishes in France. This movement, centered in Paris, asserts the importance of human reason as well as the existence of natural law, and is promulgated by writers, scientists, philosophers, and theorists such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712–1778), Voltaire (1694–1778), baron de Montesquieu (1689–1755), and Denis Diderot (1713–1784). Inspired by this flowering of rationalism and order, the focus of the arts turns from the florid Rococo toward a greater simplicity and morality. At the same time, the discovery of the ruins of the ancient cities Herculaneum (1709) and Pompeii (1748) renews interest in the classical world, and revolutions in France and America later in the century invite comparisons between ancient and modern government. These factors combine to advance the Neoclassical movement in the visual arts and architecture.
• 1753–76 Jean-Baptiste Pigalle (1714–1785) executes a monumental tomb for the Maréchal de Saxe (Church of Saint Thomas, Strasbourg). The allegorical sculptural group depicts the Maréchal stepping into an open sarcophagus, while a female figure representing France attempts to restrain him and looks imploringly to the shrouded figure of Death. A mourning Hercules is depicted at left, along with animals symbolizing the Maréchal's vanquished foes. The figures are classical in pose and gesture, but the theatricality of the monument looks back to the Baroque. One of the most gifted sculptors of his time, Pigalle excels at sculpture on both grand and intimate scales.
• 1755 Jacques-Germain Soufflot (1713–1780) undertakes the design for the Church of Sainte-Geneviève in Paris. Soufflot's aim is to construct a church reflecting his interests in both classical Roman architecture and the elegance of Gothic church design but he is plagued by opposition from contemporary critics and the design undergoes several revisions. The church—an early monument of the Neoclassical movement is completed over a decade after his death, and in 1791 is secularized as the Panthéon des Grands Hommes.
• 1761 Returning to France after five years of study at the French Academy in Rome, Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806) quickly establishes in Paris a clientele for cabinet pictures that bear the influence of both Italian Baroque painting and Dutch landscapes. Fragonard works in a fluid, painterly style that recalls—with rapid brushwork and a warm palette—the oil sketches of Rubens He achieves great success with private collectors as well as more official patrons, and is commissioned by the comtesse du Barry to produce a series of panels for her château at Louveciennes (now Frick Collection, New York). Du Barry rejects the completed panels, and Fragonard departs for Italy, eventually slipping from favor as the Neoclassical style flourishes.
• 1761 Jean-Baptiste Greuze (1725–1805) paints The Village Bride (Louvre), one of many moralizing and often melodramatic genre scenes that, opposed to the whimsy of the Rococo, earn him the praise of Enlightenment supporters, particularly Diderot. Greuze often refers symbolically in his paintings to the theme of compromised virtue or lost innocence, as in Broken Eggs (20.155.8).
• 1768 Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741–1828) returns to Paris from training in Rome and is soon established as the foremost sculptor in France. In his portrait busts, his two great preoccupations—study from nature and the antique—combine to lifelike and vibrant effect. At the Salon of 1779, Houdon exhibits a series of portrait busts of such famous men as Voltaire, Rousseau, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin. At the same Salon, his gifted contemporary Augustin Pajou (1730–1809) exhibits a portrait bust of Louis XVI in armor (now Versailles). The success of Houdon and Pajou comes with the spread of the Enlightenment, which seeks to preserve and venerate those figures of public life who contribute to the intellectual and philosophical advancement of the age.
• 1779 Élisabeth Louise Vigée-Lebrun(1755–1842), a young portraitist trained by her father, is summoned to Versailles and the employ of the queen, Marie Antoinette. Forced for political reasons to flee at the outbreak of the Revolution in 1789, Vigée-Lebrun travels to Italy, Vienna, Berlin, Saint Petersburg Dresden, and London. Her technical virtuosity, as well as the sensitivity and elegance of her likenesses, meet with international acclaim. A painting by Marie-Victoire Lemoine (1754–1820) (57.103) may provide a view of Vigée-Lebrun's atelier.
• 1783 Jean-Henri Riesener (1734–1806), one of the most gifted and successful cabinet maker of the second half of the eighteenth century, produces a fall-front secretary (secrétaire à abattant) matching commode, and encoignure (corner cabinet) for Queen Marie Antoinette's cabinet intérieur at Versailles. The exquisite secretary, with its Japanese black and gold lacquer paneling and gilt bronze mounts, is a masterwork of eighteenth century cabinet design. Reisner is a favorite of the Queen, for whom he also produces a mechanical table (1778) now in the Museum's collection (33.12). Another favorite of the queen, Georges Jacob (1739–1814), supplies his patroness and other members of the French royal family with elegant sets of seat furniture, including (1784) a pair of side chairs for Marie Antoinette's boudoir at the Tuileries palace.
• late 18th century Pigalle's student, Claude Michel (1738–1814), known as Clodion, produces the Nymph and Satyr Carousing Although its antique theme is characteristic of the Neoclassical period, the terracotta sculptural group nevertheless exemplifies a Rococo ideal in its small scale and swirling forms engaged in amorous abandonment. Clodion executes a number of large-scale commissions during his successful career, but his fame rests upon small groups, often with Bacchic themes, such as this one.
• 1784 Étienne-Louis Boullée (1728–1799) designs a monument to Isaac Newton (ink and wash drawing, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris). The massive, hollow sphere pierced at the top by small holes in imitation of starlight is never realized, but its plan illustrates the visionary nature of a theorist who devotes his career to promoting purity in architectural form.
• 1787 Jacques-Louis David (1748–1825) paints The Death of Socrates This painting depicts the ancient philosopher about to drink a cup of hemlock, enacting the death sentence for refusing to renounce his beliefs. In its heroic subject matter and clarity of execution, it is a supreme Neoclassical statement from the foremost painter of the period. David is forced into exile during the Revolution but returns during the reign of Napoleon.
• 1789 The French Revolution begins, instigated by numerous factors, including the country's unstable finances (worsened by participation in the American Revolution and war with Austria from 1792) and the mounting dissatisfaction of peasants, whose heavy taxes are used to pay the debts accrued by a court known for its decadence and splendor. The philosophical developments of the Enlightenment, particularly the belief in the authority of the individual, also stir unrest as social and economic reforms fail to keep pace with intellectual progress. By 1792, the Revolutionary legislature abolishes the monarchy and the king is executed for treason in 1793; a provisional government, led by Maximilien Robespierre, is established in the same year. Known as the Reign of Terror, the period of Robespierre's leadership—or dictatorship—is marked by uprising and massacre from which no individual suspected of antirevolutionary activity is exempt. Robespierre is arrested and guillotined in 1794, and a new legislature, called the Directory, is established. Five years later, general Napoleon I (1769–1821) returns from a campaign of the French Revolutionary Wars, overthrows the Directory, and rules France as emperor from 1804 until 1814.

1710 At Dresden, the capital of Saxony, construction begins on the Zwinger, an ornate setting for the court festivities of the bold elector Frederick Augustus, who also rules as Augustus the Strong, king of Poland, from 1697. The architect Matthäus Daniel Pöppelmann conceives the structure as a courtyard of vast dimensions surrounded by pavilions of fanciful form; one is equipped as a nymphaeum with a waterfall, and another recalls a triumphal arch with an open three-bayed arcade on the ground floor and an enclosed space above. Balthasar Permoser (1651–1732) creates a rich and fanciful program of sculptural ornament, including heavy garlands, lively atlas figures, and a host of animated personifications. The ornately decorated staircases, galleries, and walkways laid throughout the Zwinger provide a sumptuous background for the movements of Frederick Augustus' courtiers, both when they parade in state and when they stand as spectators for each other.
• 1710 Frederick Augustus of Saxony establishes a porcelain factory at Meissen on the Elbe near Dresden and appoints Johann Friedrich Böttger (1682–1719) as its director. Eager to increase his own wealth and prestige, Frederick Augustus promotes manufacturing, mining, and industry throughout his lands, but the Meissen factory represents the culmination of a special project. For years, he had pressed Böttger to develop a means whereby ordinary metal might be transformed into gold. Failing in this, Böttger discovered instead the formula for making "true" or hard-paste porcelain, which until then was kept secret in China and eagerly sought in Europe. The Meissen factory produces pieces of miniature sculpture admired for their pure white luster and sets of dishes fit to challenge the popularity of Chinese imports
• 1714 The war hero Prince Eugene of Savoy begins construction on the first of two palaces at the Belvedere, his beautiful summer property near Vienna. Because the Habsburgs had rewarded him generously for his military successes, he can afford to build both residences with remarkable speed: the first, the Lower Belvedere, is completed in three years, and the second, the Upper Belvedere, in two (1721–22). The architect Lukas von Hildebrandt fills both with spectacular rooms, ceremonial stairways, and daring sculptural details; he also employs numerous Italian painters to decorate the ceilings, including Martino Altomonte, Marcantonio Chiarini, Gaetano Fanti, and Carlo Carlone. Later, Prince Eugene's heirs sell the Belvedere to the Habsburgs, who convert it into a public picture gallery, the world's first, in 1776.
• 1715 In Vienna, work begins on the Karlskirche, the fulfillment of a vow made by the emperor Charles IV and the culmination of the prolific career of the architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach (1656–1723). Three years before, in 1712, Fischer von Erlach had compiled an illustrated treatise on architectural history, describing not only exemplary buildings in Italy, where he had trained with Gian Lorenzo Bernini but also reconstructions of legendary ancient monuments and imaginative views of Far Eastern buildings. In his design for the Karlskirche, he draws on his vast erudition by integrating features borrowed from eclectic sources: the facade, for example, has a pediment and columns like a classical temple, as well as a dome set on a high drum in the manner of Michelangelo but of an oval plan reminiscent of Borromini's architecture. In front of the church, he places two free-standing columns adorned with spiraling figural friezes, elements that allude simultaneously to the Pillars of Hercules, the Temple of Solomon, and the monuments of the Roman emperors Trajan and Marcus Aurelius.
• ca. 1720 Near Kuks in Bohemia, Count Franz Anton Sporck founds the Bethlehem Forest Park. A magnificent integration of art and nature, the park is adorned with biblical scenes carved in high relief out of natural outcrops of sandstone by Matyás Bernard Braun (1684–1738). In addition to encouraging religious devotion, the project also indulges in grand manner a widespread eighteenth-century taste for the unusual and unexpected.
• 1732 Emmerich (Imre) Esterházy, the energetic bishop of Estergom in modern-day Slovakia, rebuilds Saint Martin's Cathedral in Bratislava in the Baroque style. Instrumental in this work is the sculptor Georg Raphael Donner (1693–1741), who carves figures of saints and angels for the facade and interior. Under the patronage of Bishop Esterházy, the arts flourish in Bratislava, and Donner spends the balance of his career there, training apprentices and executing commissions for patrons throughout the Habsburg domains.
• 1734 Belgian-born architect François de Cuvilliés (1695–1768) designs the Amalienburg Pavilion, a delicate little building meant for resting in the gardens of the Nymphenburg Palace near Munich, a residence of the electors of Bavaria. De Cuvilliés had studied in Paris and brought the newest trends in Rococo design to Munich. The interior of the Amalienburg, one of his most accomplished buildings, is reminiscent of a jewel box, painted in pastel colors and adorned with mirrors, porcelain, and crystal chandeliers.
• 1740 Frederick II of Prussia, who holds the art of the snuffbox in great esteem, forbids the import of French snuffboxes in order to encourage German production. His own collection eventually numbers over 1,500 exquisite jeweled and enameled examples, including works by Daniel Baudesson and the crown jewelers of Prussia, André and Jean-Louis Jordan.
• 1743 The southern German architect Johann Balthasar Neumann (1687–1753) has many ambitious projects in progress. Near Staffelstein, work commences on the Church of Vierzehnheiligen (Christ's fourteen helpers), where Neumann creates an ingenious plan composed of intersecting ovals to contain a central shrine. Curving planes, exuberant ornament, an innovative plan, and beautiful illumination, hallmarks of Neumann's best buildings, appear also in the palace he realizes for the Residenz of the prince-bishops of Würzburg beginning in 1720. Here a dramatic double staircase leads to a lofty reception room, the Kaisersaal, in which a swelling vault floats on curved walls adorned with niches, marble columns, and gilt embellishments. In 1751, the Venetian painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696–1770) arrives to complete the staircase and the Kaisersaal with brilliantly illusionistic ceiling frescoes in pastel colors admirably suited to the brightness of Neumann's interiors.
• 1745 At Potsdam near Berlin, the Prussian capital, construction begins on the palace of Sanssouci ("Without a Care"), the summer retreat of Frederick II designed by Friedrich Wilhelm Diterichs (1702–1782?). The building is situated atop a terraced garden planted with fruit trees and adorned with statuary; a central staircase links the palace above with the extensive parks and waterworks below. The garden front of the palace is symmetrical and graceful, with atlas pilasters and arched windows extending to the ground; in the center is the Marble Room, a round space set with marble columns and modeled on the Pantheon in Rome. The delicate and whimsical ornament of Sanssouci reflect Frederick's peaceable interests—in music, horticulture, and classical refinement—rather than his military exploits.
• 1748 Giuseppe and Carlo Galli Bibiena of Bologna complete the Margrave's Opera House (Markgräfliches Opernhaus) in the Bavarian town of Bayreuth for the Markgräfin Willhelmine, sister of Frederick II of Prussia. The theater allows for extravagant performances both on the stage and in the auditorium: the latter is equipped with three tiers of boxes meant for audiences of glittering courtiers, and the former is graced with ingenious sets whose deep perspectives, designed by the Galli Bibiena, seem continuous with the spectators' space. Opera a new art form in the eighteenth century, realized an integration of all the arts in lavish spectacles and so fulfilled an aspiration felt throughout the Baroque period. The opera house at Bayreuth, embellished with gilding and lit with hundreds of candles, is meant for an aristocratic audience and closed to those outside the court, but its example impresses the nineteenth-century composer Richard Wagner, who builds his own more democratic Festival Theater nearby in 1872.
• 1754 The architect Dominikus Zimmermann (1685–1766), and his brother, the painter and stucco master Johann Baptist Zimmermann (1680–1758), complete Die Wies, a delightful church in southern Germany. The walls are pierced with large windows that admit bright sunlight, and the interior is encrusted with stucco ornament as delicate as molded sugar. Frescoed on the ceiling is a Rococo translation of a dire and venerable theme, the Last Judgment: here, Christ sits on a rainbow above figures in courtly poses and pastel draperies. Die Wies becomes a popular destination for eighteenth-century pilgrims and offers them a vision of paradise full of grace and light.
• 1754 Johann Joachim Winckelmann (1717–1768) moves to Dresden, where he forms a negative judgment of contemporary art and a notion that conscientious imitation of classical Greek models may redeem it. The following year, he publishes an impassioned and influential treatise entitled "Thoughts on the Imitation of Greek Works in Painting and Sculpture," and leaves Germany for Rome, where he continues to promote the Neoclassical revival and writes a magisterial history of ancient art, the first to classify antiquities by style and period.
• 1755 The great subversive wit and writer Voltaire (1694–1778) flees France and goes to Geneva, where Jean-Jacques Rousseau has been living since 1712. Switzerland, weak and impoverished throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, nevertheless supplies mercenaries to the other European powers and offers refuge for free-thinkers persecuted elsewhere.
• 1758 At the ancient Abbey of Saint Gall in Switzerland, the library, long a center of the monastic community, is refashioned in an ambitious renovation. The new reading room has a ceiling adorned with trompe l'oeil paintings and stucco, a wooden floor inlaid with scrolling patterns, and a surrounding gallery of undulating plan. An inscription pronounces the library a place for healing the spirit, but its luxurious furnishings serve also to delight the eye and to follow fashion, for many central European religious foundations grow wealthy in the eighteenth century and use their wealth to sponsor magnificent building enterprises.
• 1762 At Fertod in Hungary, the ducal Esterházy family, one of the richest in the Habsburg empire, arrays their summer estate with regal grandeur. The palace is painted yellow ochre and outfitted with French windows, sweeping enfilades, and formal gardens in the manner of Versaille . Among the special appurtenances of Fertod are a puppet theater and an opera house where the composer Joseph Haydn (1732–1809), long a beneficiary of Esterházy patronage, conducts on many occasions.
• 1768 Bernardo Bellotto (1721–1780) is named court painter to King Stanislaus II of Poland (r. 1764–95). The nephew of the celebrated Venetian view painter Canaletto, Bellotto studied with his uncle, painting the sights of Venice before leaving to find new material and new patrons in northern Italy and later in Dresden. But after his release from employment at court in 1763, he traveled again. Bound for Saint Petersburg he stopped at Warsaw and remained there until his death in 1780. Stanislaus, eager to proclaim the stature of his capital city, is pleased to have Bellotto paint Warsaw and commissions a series of twenty-six views to adorn the royal castle. For the series, Bellotto employs linear perspective, a raking light source, and a wealth of atmospheric detail, but he emphasizes momentary scenes of pageantry rather than enduring buildings. For instance, his view of the king's election, painted in 1778 (and still in the royal castle), depicts an open field framed with trees in which a multitude of people stand in ceremonious rows and so define the orthogonals of a perspective system.
• 1770 At Magyarpolány (in modern Hungary), settlers from Swabia commission a Calvary beneath the Church of Saint Ladislaus. A devotional structure popular in their south German homeland, the Calvary consists of an outdoor staircase bordered with small shelters that house wooden sculptures of the Stations of the Cross with lifesized figures carved by the Listner brothers. Throughout the eighteenth century, stability increases in Hungary, and with it, immigration from other parts of the Habsburg empire.
• 1770 The Swiss painter and draftsman Henri Fuseli (1741–1825) goes to Rome and joins an expanding circle of artists working in the Neoclassical mode. Although he draws works of ancient statuary and studies other monuments of classical antiquity, Fuseli soon distinguishes himself for painting scenes that bring to life irrational fears and nightmarish apparitions.
• 1772 The German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) publishes an essay on German architecture. Although his education predisposes him to admire all things classical, Goethe expresses admiration for Gothic buildings in his day regarded as emblems of superstition and barbarism. Throughout his career as a novelist, essayist, scientist, and playwright, Goethe finds a way both to embrace time-honored forms and to challenge received ideas. In addition to works of classical drama and tales in the spirit of Sturm und Drang, Goethe writes inspired essays on art. Beginning in 1776, he assists Duke Karl August of Saxe-Weimar in the creation of a pleasure park at Weimar, complete with architectural follies of Gothic and classical design.
• 1775 The Gloriette is built at the Habsburg summer residence of Schönbrunn near Vienna, the favorite palace of the empress Maria Theresa (r. 1740–80). Designed by Ferdinand von Hohenburg, the structure combines the imperial majesty of a triumphal arch with the delicate grace of a Rococo pavilion. The Gloriette marks the summit of the royal park at Schönbrunn, which, like the gardens at Versailles, is set with waterworks and statuary that express and glorify the reigning monarch. The Gloriette in particular celebrates the victories of Maria Theresa over the repeated challenges posed by her archenemy, Frederick II of Prussia.
• 1787 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791) goes to Prague to supervise the final rehearsals and premiere of his new opera, Don Giovanni. Immediately acclaimed for its brilliant music, the opera recounts the adventures and the death of the legendary seducer Don Juan. In the final scene, the ghostly statue of an old soldier, a haunting image of old manners and ideals, arrives to dine with Don Giovanni—and to escort him to hell. Born among the Baroque buildings of Salzburg in 1756, Mozart performed at Schönbrunn at the age of six, when he enchanted the imperial family by leaping into the lap of the youthful Marie-Antoinette and asking her to marry him.
• 1794 The German sculptor Johann Heinrich Dannecker (1758–1841) makes a stucco bust of his long-time friend, the author Friedrich Schiller (1759–1805), whose writings blend the classical tradition with the passionate stirrings of early Romanticism Dannecker represents Schiller accordingly as a young man with Apollonian features, bare shoulders, long locks of hair, and an expression both noble and brooding.
• 1795 The much-diminished territory of Poland is divided among the rulers of Russia, Prussia, and the Habsburg empire after generations of constant warfare and government by ineffectual kings, many of them puppets of the stronger surrounding states.
• 1798 In Munich, Alois Senefelder (1771–1834) invents lithography, a printmaking technique in which impressions are made from a stone inked in a greasy medium. Although Senefelder developed the process to reduce the costs of printing music he soon recognizes its potential for the graphic arts. In the nineteenth century, lithograph is used widely by commercial printers as well as by artists, including Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Francisco Goya and Adolph Menzel.
Penisola iberica
1700 Shortly before his death, the childless king Charles II names Philip, duke of Anjou (grandson of Louis XIV of France), as heir to the throne. This provokes the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14) as England, Holland, and imperial authorities react against the extension of French authority that comes with the accession of a Bourbon monarch. It ends with several treaties, collectively known as the Peace of Utrecht, in 1713.
• early 18th century The lavish splendor of the Baroque is exemplified in the clocktower (1728–33) and library (1716–23)—adorned with illusionistic paintings, marble inlay floors, and a profusion of decorative arts—at the University of Coimbra, Portugal. The city has flourished as a center of humanism and the arts from the time of the university's permanent establishment there in 1537.
• 1719 Italian architect Filippo Juvarra (1678–1736) is at work on the palace at Mafra in Portugal. Commissioned by John V (r. 1706–50) with the aim of rivaling the Escorial in Spain in its size and splendor, this massive complex of palace, monastery, and church represents a period of great prosperity in Portugal, when gold and diamond deposits from Portuguese mines in Brazil fund extravagant royal projects.
• 1734 The Palacio Real (royal palace) in Madrid is destroyed by fire. In 1735, Philip V (r. 1700–1746) commissions Filippo Juvarra to build a new palace, but the architect dies in the following year. His gifted pupil, Giovanni Battista Sacchetti (1690–1764), takes over the project. In Sacchetti's hands, the elaborate Baroque design of his master takes a Neoclassical turn, reducing the size of the structure while emphasizing its mass and volume with column orders and double staircases.
• 1746–59 Music and the performing arts flourish during the reign of Ferdinand VI of Spain and his queen, Maria Bárbara de Braganza (1711–1758), daughter of John V of Portugal. Carlo Farinelli (1705–1782), the most illustrious singer of the period, as well as the Italian composer Domenico Scarlatti (1685–1757) are fixtures at their court.
• 1759 In the year of his accession, Charles III of Spain (r. 1759–88) opens the Real Fábrica del Buen Retiro porcelain factory, named for the palace it inhabits. The factory is staffed by artisans from the workshops at Capodimonte, established by Charles during his reign as king of Naples and Sicily (1734–59). The Buen Retiro porcelain factory is the most important in Spain until its destruction in 1808.
• 1760s Luis Egidio Meléndez (1716–1780), born in Naples (where he later settles for several years of study) and trained as a miniaturist, begins a specialization in still-life painting. Meléndez captures the volumetric solidity of fruits and vegetables arranged on a simple surface and often against a sober background, but relishes with a scientific eye the conveyance of texture and the depiction of detailed surface markings (1982.60.39). He paints a series of forty-five still lifes for the Palacio Real in Madrid, where he spends most of his career, claiming that his aim is to decorate a room with every type of fruit and vegetable that the Spanish climate produces.
• 1761 German painter Anton Raphael Mengs (1728–1779) is at work at the Palacio Real. He executes a ceiling fresco, the Triumph of Aurora (1762–64), for the bedroom of the Queen Mother Isabella Farnese, and the Apotheosis of Hercules (1762–69 and 1775) for the Antecámara de Gasparini. Mengs is a major exponent of the Neoclassical style which he practices in Dresden and Italy before entering the service of Charles III, • 1774 Francisco de Goya y Lucientes(1746–1828) is invited by Mengs to paint tapestry cartoons for the royal tapestry factories at Santa Bárbara; thus begins a relationship with the Spanish monarchy that occupies the remainder of the artist's career. The foremost artist of late eighteenth-century Spain, Goya turns from lighthearted genre scenes and portraits to paintings and graphic works that express a profound pessimism and a preoccupation with human corruption.
• 1785 Under architect Juan de Villanueva (1739–1811), construction begins on a museum of natural history on the Paseo del Prado in Madrid. It is completed during the reign of Ferdinand VII (1814–33), and is today known as the Museo del Prado, one of the finest museums of painting and sculpture in Europe.

British Isles

1705 Sir John Vanbrugh (1664–1726), as popular a playwright as an architect, designs Blenheim Palace at Oxfordshire, presented at its completion (1724) by Queen Anne to the first duke of Marlborough to honor his victories in the Wars of Spanish Succession. Vanbrugh, a colleague of English Baroque architects Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor (1661–1736), lends his particular flair for the theatricality of Baroque design to this and other structures, including the earlier Castle Howard (1699–1712) in North Yorkshire.
• 1720s The Palladian revival in architecture is one of the earliest manifestations of the Neoclassical movement in England. Led by Richard Boyle, third earl of Burlington, the revival exalts the simplicity and order of classical structures as parallels to the clarity of reason; many buildings of this period thus espouse the classically grounded theories of Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, but interpret these theories with strict severity. Lord Burlington's Chiswick House (1725–29), constructed to his own design and decorated by William Kent (1685–1748), exemplifies this movement.
• 1721 William Hogarth (1697–1764) publishes the South Sea Scheme, a satirical engraving treating a contemporary financial scandal. It is the first of many moralizing subjects that mark the career of this pivotal figure in the founding of the English school. In addition to his merits as a painter, he asserts and encourages throughout his career the independence of artists from the confines of patronage by publishing engravings after his own paintings. The best known of these is A Rake's Progress (1735), an episodic series illustrating the demise of a corrupt young man.
• 1738 A statue of the Baroque composer Georg Frideric Handel (1685–1759) is erected at Vauxhall Gardens in London. The vibrant informality of the likeness secures great renown for its creator, French sculptor Louis-François Roubiliac (1702–1762), in his adopted city. The sculpture also contributes to the spread of Rococo style in England, and serves as the forerunner of later monuments to living cultural icons of the age.
• early 1750s Francis Cotes (1726–1770) is established in his native London as a gifted portraitist in pastel with an eye for color and ornamental detail. Later in the decade, he begins to paint more frequently in oils, and numbers members of the royal family among his illustrious sitters.
• 1759 Josiah Wedgwood (1730–1795) founds a ceramic firm which is soon to become the most important in England. The Wedgwood company produces both functional and ornamental wares in a variety of media developed by its founder: creamware (cream-colored earthenware), Black Basalte (black stoneware), Rosso Antico (red stoneware), Cane (yellow stoneware), and Jasper, an unglazed white stoneware. Jasperware, the most popular of these media and the one with which Wedgwood's name is most closely associated, is created in 1771 and perfected in the mid-1770s. Characterized by white bas-relief scenes or cameos applied to a smooth, colored ground, Jasperware vases, medallions, and figures often emulate classical models both in their shape and iconography and are widely popular into the nineteenth century.
• by 1760s The British school of portraiture flourishes in the hands of artists whose varied styles and international influences make significant contributions to its depth and scope. In 1761, Allan Ramsay (1713–1784), a Scottish painter working mostly in London, is appointed principal painter to George III. Well-versed in the Baroque and also inspired by contemporary French painting (both of which he encounters in travel and study on the Continent), Ramsay brings to his canvas naturalism and intimacy coupled with worldly grace. In the two decades preceding his appointment, Ramsay is among the most sought-after portraitists in England, influencing and also occasionally rivaling his younger contemporaries, Reynolds and Gainsborough. In the following year, George Romney (1734–1802), a painter of provincial birth, moves to London and establishes a practice. Romney's portraits—at their most successful, of women—are characterized by soft modeling, fluidity of form, and rich coloration.
• 1761 While resident in the spa town of Bath, locus of a wealthy clientele, Thomas Gainsborough (1727–1788) exhibits for the first time at the Society of Artists in London. He settles there in 1774, already honored with a founding membership in the Royal Academy and possessing a solid reputation for his ability to capture on canvas the great beauties of the age. While best known for portraiture of outstanding sophistication and assured fluidity of execution, Gainsborough is also a skilled landscapist and draftsman, and experiments with the graphic media of soft-ground etching and aquatint Despite the fact that he never visits the Continent, he studies closely and takes inspiration from the French Rococo and Dutch and Flemish masters of the previous century, especially van Dyck. At his death in 1788, his contemporary and some-time rival Joshua Reynolds eulogizes him by stating, "If ever this nation should produce genius sufficient to acquire to us the honourable distinction of an English School, the name of Gainsborough will be transmitted to posterity, in the history of Art, among the very first of that rising name."
• 1766 Joseph Wright of Derby (1734–1797) paints A Philosopher Lecturing with a Mechanical Planetary (Derby Museum and Art Gallery) and, two years later, executes An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump (National Gallery, London). In the 1760s, candle- and lamp-lit interiors such as these become an increasing preoccupation of the artist, who here employs Caravaggesque lighting techniques to effect drama in scenes of scientific inquiry and discovery. The depiction of research and experimentation reflects a key component of Enlightenment thought; the artist himself was well acquainted with several scientific and technological luminaries of the day, including Josiah Wedgwood and the poet and scientist Erasmus Darwin (1731–1802).
• 1766 Angelica Kauffmann (1741–1807) arrives in London, where she settles until 1781. The young Swiss painter of prodigious talent, already renowned on the Continent, achieves immediate success in England, and is one of two women honored in 1768 with a founding membership in the Royal Academy (the other is still-life painter Mary Moser, 1744–1819). Working with Neoclassical architects William Chambers (1726–1796) and Robert Adam (1728–1792), Kauffmann supplies interior designs for Adam (whose own elegant designs are among the most popular of the period) and produces four allegories for Chambers's new rooms for the Royal Academy at Somerset House. An accomplished portraitist and a prolific advocate of Neoclassical history painting in England, she continues to exhibit there until the 1790s, long after her relocation to Rome.
• 1768 The Royal Academy is founded, with the painter Joshua Reynolds (1723–1792) as its president. Widely traveled and by this time the most celebrated painter in London, Reynolds is soon to be distinguished also as a man of letters, as the first of his annual lectures, the Discourses on Art (1769–90), are published to great acclaim in 1778. In 1784, Reynolds is appointed chief painter to George III. Although lacking in the adept brushwork of his rival contemporary Thomas Gainsborough, Reynolds's mastery of pose and gesture elevates his subjects to a grand, often heroic ideal. In The Honorable Henry Fane (1739–1802) with His Guardians, Inigo Jones and Charles Blair Reynolds applies this sense of grandeur to the conversation piece, a type of painting popular in England from about 1725. Depicting relatives or intimates at leisure, the conversation piece derives in part from Dutch cabinet pictures of the seventeenth century and is usually small in scale. Reynolds preserves the informality of this type, but renders it in a dramatic full-size canvas.
• 1772 Benjamin West (1738–1820), a major proponent of Neoclassicism, is appointed historical painter to King George III. Born in Pennsylvania, West travels to Italy in 1760 and, three years later, to England. Although intending to stay only briefly, he settles there for the remainder of his life and becomes a founding member of the Royal Academy. At Reynolds's death in 1792, West succeeds him as the Academy's president. In his most famous work, The Death of General Wolfe (1770; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa), West lends—with dramatic composition, gesture, and scale—a sense of classical heroism to his depiction of the event while remaining faithful, through setting and costume, to its historical truth. In 1774, West is joined in London by his countryman and likeminded supporter of Neoclassicism, John Singleton Copley(1738–1815). An outstanding portraitist, after settling in London Copley additionally undertakes large-scale history paintings such as Watson and the Shark (1778; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), an opportunity for the artist to present a moral allegory through the horrific scene of a young man's narrow escape from the assailing shark.
• 1780s Richard Cosway (1742–1821) is among London's most successful miniaturists. Admitted to the Royal Academy in 1771 and in about 1786 appointed miniature painter to the Prince of Wales, later George IV, Cosway is as active in fashionable society as his sitters (see his self-portrait, 62.49). Contemporary with Cosway is George Engleheart (1750/53–1829), a miniaturist of German origin. At work in the studio of Joshua Reynolds, he produces miniature versions of the master's portraits. Engleheart's prolific oeuvre includes nearly 5,000 works, painted during a career spanning forty years.
• late 18th century While Georgian-era painting is championed by Reynolds and Gainsborough, followed by the less celebrated but more productive Romney, other painters active during this period make significant contributions to the British school. John Hoppner (1758–1810), a skilled draftsman with a keen awareness of color and free brushwork influenced by artists of the Venetian Renaissance excels at capturing fresh and sympathetic likenesses of his sitters, particularly youthful ones;. William Beechey (1753–1839), in a long career, serves the Hanoverian royal family; he is named principal painter to Queen Charlotte (from 1793) and later to William IV (from 1830). Henry Raeburn (1756–1823), one of the foremost Scottish artists of the period, executes broadly handled portraits with a bold, painterly approach to color, light, and shadow.
• 1790 George Stubbs (1724–1806), an artist known for his "portraits" of racehorses and other animals, paints Lion Attacking a Horse (Yale University Art Gallery). Inspired by a scene he witnesses during a visit to North Africa, the violent subject matter as well as the tempestuous setting in which he places it point toward the Romantic movement with its commingling of the horrific and the sublime, its exaltation of nature and the emotions. About the same time, Henry Fuseli (1741–1825), a Swiss-born artist active in London, paints The Nightmare (Frankfurter Goethe-Museum, Frankfurt). Fuseli has a deep understanding of classical art and literature acquired during a long stay in Italy; he also shows a keen interest in contemporary literature, poetry, and theater. In Fuseli's hands, classical elements combine with a psychological penetration and a sense of the macabre that mark a transition between the Neoclassic and the Romantic. In The Nightmare, the reclining, draped figure of the sleeper calls on a classical motif, while her eerily luminescent form and contorted pose convey the tormented nature of her sleep.
• 1790 Thomas Lawrence (1769–1830), recently settled in London from Bath, exhibits two full-length portraits at the Royal Academy: one depicts Queen Charlotte (National Gallery, London), the other the actress and later countess of Derby, Elizabeth Farren (. The pictures meet with great public and critical acclaim, and are praised above even the work of co-exhibitor Reynolds for their naturalistic freshness and vivacity. Two years later, Lawrence succeeds Reynolds as painter to George III, and his reputation as the finest painter of his generation carries into the nineteenth century, when his style becomes increasingly influenced by Romanticism.

Development of the artist's work through the years:

He then returned to Venice in 1753, Tiepolo was now richly in demand locally and abroad, where he was elected President of the Academy of Padua. He now completed theatrical frescoes for churches; the Triumph of Faith for the Chiesa della Pietà; panel frescos for Ca' Rezzonico(which now also holds his ceiling fresco from the Palazzo Barbarigo); and paintings for patrician villas in the Venetian countryside, such as Villa Valmarana(Vicenza) and a large panegyric ceiling for the now nearly vacant Villa Pisani in Stra.
In celebrated frescoes at the Palazzo Labia he depicted two frescoes on the life of Cleopatra: Meeting of Anthony and Cleopatra and Banquet of Cleopatra as well as a central ceiling fresco depicts Triumph of Bellerophon over Time. He collaborated with an expert in perspective, Girolamo Mengozzi Colonna. Colonna who also designed sets for opera highlights the increasing tendency towards composition as a staged fiction in his frescoes. The architecture of theBanquet fresco also recalls Veronese's Wedding at Cannae

L'apoteosi di Enea o Enea condotto da Venere nel tempio dell'immortalitá

Tiepolo and his sons arrived in Madrid on 4 June 1762. In spite of his advanced age, he was extremely productive in the remaining eight years of his life, creating an impressive number of large frescos and altarpieces in Madrid. He appears to have been very well aware of the fact that the time for his art, in which he portrayed triumphal apotheoses and the glorification of the virtues of his clients by means of illusionistic settings, was well and truly over. Tiepolo was one of the few European painters still working on a monumental scale and able to realize extensive interior decorations. King Charles III of Spain had thus made the right choice in commissioning this artist to decorate the Throne Room of the Royal Palace in Madrid, only recently built to designs by Filippo Juvarra (1676-1736) by his pupil Sacchetti (died 1764).
Tiepolo had already completed the oil sketch for the ceiling fresco in the Throne Room, The Glory of Spain, in Venice. The subject portrayed is the glorification of the Spanish nation, which in the course of the 16th and 17th centuries had developed into one of the leading European powers, politically, geographically and culturally. The compositional scheme of the ceiling fresco in the Throne Room is a brilliant synthesis of decorative elements from Tiepolo's earlier works, such as those in the Residence in Würzburg and the Villa Pisani in Stra. Tiepolo reproduces his previous work in a new setting without compromising the original character of the fresco or giving the impression of its being a copy. In spite of the complex structure of the numerous figural elements and the intricate meaning of its content, and thanks to the largely empty expanse of sky, the fresco appears to be one of the airiest Tiepolo ever created.
Work on the Throne Room was completed in 1764. The King was pleased with the result and asked Tiepolo to carry out further decorative work within the palace. The painting of a ceiling fresco in the Guard Room followed. In the Queen's antechamber, a small room adjoining the Throne Room, Tiepolo created the ceiling fresco The Apotheosis of the Spanish Monarchy.
In 1726, Tiepolo began work on the frescoes in the stairwell and in the rooms on the 'piano nobile', or first floor, of the Patriarchal Palace (now the Archiepiscopal Palace) at Udine. This important project had been commissioned by Dionisio Dolfin (1663-1734), a member of a Venetian patrician family, who had held the office of patriarch of Aquileia since 1699.
In the centre of the stairwell ceiling, Tiepolo frescoed the Fall of the Rebel Angels, which he surrounded with eight monochrome scenes from the book of Genesis. He then went on to decorate the Gallery, the so-called Sala Rossa, or Red Room, (at that time, the seat of the ecclesiastical tribunal), and the Throne Room on the piano nobile.
The Gallery features scenes from the lives of the Old Testament patriarchs, likewise inspired by the book of Genesis. The three main episodes, The Three Angels appearing to Abraham, Rachel Hiding the Idols from her Father Laban and The Angel appearing to Sarah are each surrounded by a trompe-l'oeil frame. They are hung alternately with monochrome portraits of prophetesses, which create the illusion of being statues in niches along the walls. On the ceiling, a depiction of The Sacrifice of Isaacoccupies centre position, flanked by smaller oval compartments portraying Hagar in the Wilderness and Jacob's Dream.Tiepolo was aided in the realization of this famous ensemble by the quadratura specialist from Ferrara, Girolamo Mengozzi Colonna (1688-1766), with whom he continued to work closely during the years that followed.
On the ceiling of the Sala Rossa, Tiepolo painted The Judgement of Solomon, surrounded by portraits of the prophets Isaiah,Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel - a theme appropriate to a room used both as a civil and ecclesiastical tribunal. Finally, there are portraits of Old Testament patriarchs in the Throne Room, but these have deteriorated badly, and not all are by Tiepolo himself.
The ambitious pictorial program of the overall decoration was probably conceived by Dionisio Dolfin himself, with the help of his theological advisers, including Francesco Florio, his vicar-general. The subjects chosen for the pictures were intended to reinforce the legitimacy of the ruling patriarchy, which at that time found itself at the centre of a fierce politico-ecclesiastical struggle between Venice and Vienna. The decoration of the Patriarchal Palace in Udine unquestionably represents the high point in Tiepolo's early career. By portraying figures in 16th century dress, and placing them in landscapes bathed in sun and light, he recalls the magnificently staged scenes of Veronese. The decisive element in this project must be his sense of the theatrical, where the respective subject matter of the picture is presented in a dramatically staged scene. Each figure is assigned a primary or secondary role and the relationships between the protagonists are elucidated by means of a masterly handling of colour. Tiepolo thus transformed the revival of Veronese's art, also favoured by his contemporaries, from a mere stylistic fashion into a pictorial language that was to confirm his own reputation as a representative of the Venetian tradition.


List of sources

] Testo a stampa - Tiepolo , Giambattista - L'*Arcivescovado di Udine / testo di Aldo Rizzi. - Milano : Fabbri ; [Genève] : A. Skira , [1969]
L'*arte dei Tiepolo. - [Milano] : Electa Editrice-.
Congresso internazionale di studi sul Tiepolo <1970 ; Udine> - Atti del Congresso internazionale di studi sul Tiepolo : con un'appendice sulla mostra / [a cura di Elettra Quargnal]. - [Milano] : Electa , [1972?]
Il *Barocco in Italia : Tiepolo, Caravaggio, Bernini: il paradiso della forma e del colore. - [Milano] : Famiglia cristiana , c2003
Mariuz , Adriano - La *chiesa settecentesca di Biadene e il primo affresco di Giambattista Tiepolo / Adriano Mariuz, Giuseppe Pavanello. - Biadene : Comitato per il restauro della parrocchiale settecentesca di Biadene , stampa 1988
Da Bergognone a Tiepolo: scoperte e restauri in provincia di Bergamo / a cura di Simone Facchinetti. - Cinisello Balsamo : Silvana , [2002]

Padova> - Da Padovanino a Tiepolo: dipinti dei Musei civici di Padova del Seicento e Settecento / a cura di Davide Banzato, Adriano Mariuz, Giuseppe Pavanello. - Milano : F. Motta , [1997
Gosudarstvennyj Ėrmitaž - Da Leonardo a Tiepolo: collezioni italiane dell'Ermitage di Leningrado. - Milano : Electa , [1990]
Da Tiziano a Caravaggio a Tiepolo : capolavori di tre secoli di arte italiana : Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi, Torino. - Firenze : ArtificioSkira , [2002]
Materiale video - 12 *Dal Barocco al Rococo. Il Settecento 2. : Watteau, Tiepolo, Longhi, Guardi, Reynolds. - Novara : De Agostini , c2004
Mostra del Tiepolo <1971 ; Udine> - [2]: *Disegni e acqueforti. - [Milano] : Electa , [1971?]

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