Tiepolo: Masterpieces of the Wurzburg Years : Heaven on Earth

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9783791317281: Tiepolo: Masterpieces of the Wurzburg Years : Heaven on Earth

On 12 December 1750 the Venetian painter Giambattista Tiepolo arrived in Wurzburg, capital of the small German principality of Franconia. Its ruler, Prince-Bishop Carl Philipp von Greiffenclau, had commissioned him to decorate the Kaisersaal, one of the state rooms in his palace, the Residenz. Later extended to include the decoration of the Residenz's staircase, the commission resulted in a series of frescos that are numbered among the greatest glories of Baroque painting.
Created by the last major representative of the Venetian tradition in painting, the frescos in the Wurzburg Residenz are a truly epochal work of art. They form the culmination of a venerable tradition of fresco decoration initiated by Giotto over four hundred years earlier and, in their marriage of mythological and historical subject-matter, constitute a monument to the dying age of absolutism. In his highly readable text Peter O. Kruckmann tells the story of how Tiepolo came to receive the commission, explores in detail the thematic and artistic intricacies of the frescos, and documents their genesis as a continuous process, from the preliminary sketches to the finished works. In examining the relationship between the painted decoration and the architecture of the Residenz, he sheds new light on the place of the frescos in the complex ceremonial rituals of provincial court.
During his three-year stay in Wurzburg, Tiepolo, and his son Giandomenico, produced a number of oil paintings for the Prince-Bishop and other German patrons. These works, too, are discussed in this lavishly illustrated volume, which provides layman and expert alike with an informative and visually exciting survey of the masterpieces created in Wurzburg by the man who was probably the greatest painter of the eighteenth century.

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About the Author:

Peter O. Kruckmann is Curator at the Bavarian State Administration of Palaces, Gardens and Lakes, Munich.

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