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Giambattista Tiepolo: His Life and Art Hardcover – July 1, 1986


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; 1ST edition (July 1, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300030185
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300030181
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 10 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #739,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the age of 20, Tiepolo astonished Venice with Crossing of the Red Sea, a forceful, baroque canvas. Nearly six decades later, as an old man in Madrid, his frescoes of cosmic proportions for the Royal Palace awed the Spanish court. Sheer industry and confidence in his artistic mission sustained this Venetian master. His aim was to create an alternative universe of light and color; he saw light as divine, and it gave clarity and vitality to his images. Claiming to be the first full-length book on Tiepolo to be written in English, this splendidly illustrated study by the director of London's National Gallery shows us many sides of an artist who could be broadly comic or solemn and didactic. His caricaturesbizarre etchings of Punchinellos and dwarf-like humansare the mellow musings of a sage. His landscapes reveal meticulous observation of nature. Born in Venice when it was still the capital of an empire, this socially conservative artist blazed a uniquely personal style that was quintessentially Venetian.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Buce on August 4, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It cannot be easy to write a successful biography of Tiepolo. There is none of the usual stuff that can make a biographer's life so easy: gossipy letters, shrewd observations from friends or enemies. Moreover Tiepolo seems to have been, by any conventional measure, a pretty boring guy. By all the evidence, he had little or no contact with the cultural icons of Venice in his time-Goldoni say, or Metastasio, or Vivaldi (one notable exception: the artist Giambattista Piazzetta-Levey says that Piazzetta and Tiepolo were "the Picasso and Matisse, or perhaps better the Turner and Constable of their period). For an artist whom we identify as a child of the Age of Absolutism, it perhaps comes as a surprise to recognize that he worked only once in a "major" court-at the very end of his life, Madrid. Rather, he seems to have been something of a workaholic: it has been said that he covered more square feet of wall space than any other artist in history. Perhaps the most interesting thing about him is to observe how much of his life he spent on a scaffold, 20 or 50 feet off the ground.

Michael Levey has done a creditable job of walking us through the Tiepolo gallery. He offers shrewd and appreciative insights on any number of works, making us understand Tiepolo with new eyes. Has the reader noticed, for example, how many of Tiepolo's really important figures are women? Or, perhaps even more remarkable, how many of the "really important figures" in the pictures are not that "iimportant" after all? Or how, for all his pomp, his pictures remain gentle, playful, almost light-hearted?

Levey's book is thus an honorable effort, but Tiepolo deserves more. Attractive as he is on his own terms, he cries out to be put into a larger context.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an outstanding illustrated biography and analysis of key works of GB Tiepolo. It is bit short on actual reproduction of his drawings and sketches. I enjoy copying and analysing the great masters and was hoping for more images, which would have made this the definitive all around reference on Tiepolo. Still, judging the author on the book he put together and not the one I wished for, this is must reading for art historians or admirers of the great Venetian.
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Format: Paperback
Book as described...happy to have in my library...!!!!
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