The best painter of Venice
11 October 2019 – 2 February 2020

"The best painter in Venice" - this is how Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770) was celebrated by his contemporaries. Born in Venice, he rose to become one of the most important artists of the 18th century, as sought after in Italy as he was in Würzburg and Madrid.

On the occasion of the 250th anniversary of his death, we dedicated a major exhibition to him and presented our high-ranking holdings in the context of precious international loans from Europe and overseas. For the first time in the German-speaking world, the show offered a view of Tiepolo's entire creative period and illustrated the diversity of his oeuvre - from elegant paintings on mythology and history to dramatic religious images, caricature drawings and etchings.

With his magnificent pictorial productions, Tiepolo placed himself in the great tradition of Venetian painting. His works were considered the epitome of creativity and fantasy. At the same time, humor and irony found their way into his pictorial worlds and challenged traditional notions of art. Alienations and ambiguities still contribute to the irritation of the viewer today. At the turn of the Enlightenment, Tiepolo's works point ahead to representational strategies that can be observed through Francisco de Goya and into the modern era.

A contemporary look at Tiepolo's art

In dialogue with Tiepolo, the exhibition showed four works by contemporary artist Christoph Brech. He juxtaposed Tiepolo's works with a selection of his multimedia works, responding to central characteristics such as unusual perspectives, distortions, light and color effects. His pictorial stagings raise the question of the relationship between image and viewer, which Tiepolo already posed in his work and which is of utmost topicality in the digital age.

La Serenissima

Parallel to the large exhibition, the Cabinet of Prints and Drawings hosted the exhibition "La Serenissima. Drawing Art in Venice from the 16th to the 18th Century" took place. About 50 drawings showed there the different facets of Venetian drawing art from the 16th century to the decline of the Republic.

Exhibition film