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About the book
  • Published: 22 September 2011
  • ISBN: 9781409076520
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304

Tiepolo Pink




A delightful account of the life and work of Giambattista Tiepolo.

The eighteenth-century Venetian painter Giambattista Tiepolo spent his life executing commissions in churches, palaces, and villas, often covering vast ceilings like those at the Würzburg Residenz in Germany and the Royal Palace in Madrid with frescoes that are among the glories of Western art. The life of an epoch swirled around him – but though his contemporaries appreciated and admired him, they failed to understand him.

Few have even attempted to tackle Tiepolo’s series of thirty-three bizarre and haunting etchings, the Capricci and the Scherzi, but Roberto Calasso rises to the challenge, interpreting these etchings as chapters in a dark narrative that contains the secret of Tiepolo’s art. Blooming ephebes, female satyrs, Oriental sages, owls, snakes: we will find them all, including Punchinello and Death, within the pages of this book, along with Venus, Time, Moses, numerous angels, Cleopatra and Beatrice of Burgundy – a motley, gypsyish company always on the go.

Calasso makes clear that Tiepolo was more than a dazzling intermezzo in the history of painting. Rather, he represented a particular way of meeting the challenge of form: endowed with a fluid, seemingly effortless style, Tiepolo was the last incarnation of that peculiar Italian virtue sprezzatura, the art of not seeming artful.

  • Pub date: 22 September 2011
  • ISBN: 9781409076520
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304

About the Author

Roberto Calasso

Born in Florence, Roberto Calasso lives in Milan, where he is publisher of Adelphi. He is the author of The Ruin of Kasch, The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, which was the winner of the Prix Veillon and the Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger, Literature and the Gods, Ka and K.

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