By Roberto Calasso
Title note: unique name Il rosa Tiepolo
Publish yr note: First released in 2006
The eighteenth-century Venetian painter Giambattista Tiepolo spent his lifestyles executing commissions in church buildings, palaces, and villas, frequently overlaying large ceilings like these on the Würzburg Residenz in Germany and the Royal Palace in Madrid with frescoes which are one of the glories of Western paintings. The lifetime of an epoch swirled round him—but even though his contemporaries liked and renowned him, they did not comprehend him.
Few have even tried to take on Tiepolo’s sequence of thirty-three weird and wonderful and haunting etchings, the Capricci and the Scherzi, yet Roberto Calasso rises to the problem, studying them as chapters in a depressing narrative that includes the key of Tiepolo’s paintings. Blooming ephebes, lady Satyrs, Oriental sages, owls, snakes: we are going to locate all of them, in addition to Punchinello and dying, in the pages of this publication, in addition to Venus, Time, Moses, various angels, Cleopatra, and Beatrice of Burgundy—a motley corporation continually at the go.
Calasso makes transparent that Tiepolo was once greater than a stunning intermezzo within the historical past of portray. particularly, he represented a selected approach of assembly the problem of shape: endowed with a fluid, likely easy variety, Tiepolo used to be the final incarnation of that strange Italian advantage sprezzatura, the artwork of now not seeming crafty.