Two Venetian Masters: Canaletto and Domenico Tiepolo Etchings from the Arthur Ross Foundation

Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo: Old Man with Turban
Sep 06, 2011 - Jan 08, 2012
Voorhees Gallery

This exhibition presents etchings by Canaletto (Antonio Canal, 1697-1768) and Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (1727-1804), two of the great Italian artists who made Venice an artistic capital during the eighteenth century. Printmaking played an important but different role in each artist’s career. Canaletto worked almost exclusively as a painter and took up etching as a way to challenge himself technically and creatively. Domenico Tiepolo pursued etching to a much greater extent, making reproductive and original prints that both promoted the achievements of his artistic family and distinguished his own unique talents within it.

By the late 1730s, Canaletto was famous throughout Europe for his remarkable view paintings (known as vedute) that captured Venice’s most famous landmarks and the city’s unique atmosphere, created by the interplay of light and water. The exhibition features his series of thirty-one etchings titled Vedute Alter Prese Da I Luoghi Alter Ideate (Views, Some Representing Actual Sites, Others Imaginary), in which Canaletto presents some of these Venetian sites, but also depicts landscapes of the nearby countryside along the Brenta river. His only major printmaking endeavor, these etchings are now considered landmarks in the history of printmaking for Canaletto’s fine technique and virtuoso handling of light and atmosphere.

Domenico Tiepolo, son of the great history painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770) was a renowned printmaker, painter, and draftsman who managed to work in support of his father’s work while forging his own artistic identity. The exhibition includes a selection of prints from Tiepolo’s Raccolta di Teste, a remarkable series of etchings of male expressive heads. This well-established category of art was particularly prominent in eighteenth-century Venice and demonstrates Tiepolo’s formal and technical creativity within a prescribed artistic format. This series, published in 1774, showcases Tiepolo’s attention to pose, costume and physiognomy as well as his wide-ranging use of etching techniques. The exhibition also features examples of Tiepolo’s etchings of religious subjects invented by himself and his father.

Organized by Christine Giviskos, Associate Curator of European Art

The exhibition and related programs are made possible by the Arthur Ross Foundation, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF), The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the IFPDA Foundation, and donors to the Zimmerli’s Annual Exhibition Fund.


Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo
Italian (1727-1804)
Old Man with a Large Hat
Etching (DeVesme 126)
Arthur Ross Foundation, New York