Selected Inventory

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

(Venice 1696 – Madrid 1770)

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Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Head of an Eastern Gentleman with a Moustache and Turban

oil on canvas, 43.5 x 35.5 cm

This portrait is emblematic of the series of heads painted by Giambattista in the years after 1750 that marked the fullness of his artistic maturity. They were painted with the intention of putting together a repertoire of characteristic “types”, as had been done by Piazzetta before him.

This collection of portrait heads was then collated by his son Giandomenico, who produced engravings which were directly linked to drawings and models painted by his father, Giambattista.

In the first edition of the Catalogo, at the start of the Libro Secondo, we find the engraving of the eastern gentleman with a moustache and turban based on the present painting, which Anna Pallucchini dated to c. 1755 and which she considered to be “one of the best examples of this genre”.

This type of painting was very much in vogue in 18th century Venice and satisfied a thirst for everything exotic which was a hallmark of the enlightenment era and more particularly of Venice with its trade routes to the East and love of novelty.

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