Choice 2007 Outstanding Academic Book, Fine Arts
“This book represents a contribution of the highest value to our knowledge of art and the artistic imagination at a critical moment in its history, the culmination of the long Renaissance tradition of thematic invention and variation.” —David Rosand, Meyer Schapiro Professor of Art History, Columbia University
“A landmark in the history of art.” —John W. O’Malley, S.J., Weston Jesuit School of Theology
“Gealt and Knox have undertaken an investigatory enterprise at once physical, intellectual, historical, and artistic, altogether rare in the recent annals of modern art history.” —William Barcham, Fashion Institute of Technology
In this major new work of art history, Adelheid M. Gealt and George Knox assemble, present, and document for the first time a cycle of 313 drawings of scenes from the New Testament by the 18th-century Venetian draftsman Domenico Tiepolo (1727–1804). When Domenico died in 1804, the drawings were dispersed among various purchasers. Locating, identifying, and documenting them required years of detective work by Gealt and Knox. This book presents the fruit of their labors and is a treasure that any art lover will wish to own. The book will accompany an exhibition to open October 2006 at The Frick Collection in New York.
Introductory chapters by Knox and Gealt provide a history of the drawings and a discussion of the literary and pictorial traditions in which Domenico worked and the complexities of his narrative approach. The heart of the book is a catalog of full-color reproductions of the drawings, arranged to follow the New Testament narrative from the lives of Joachim and Anna (Christ’s grandparents) through the acts of Peter and Paul. The accompanying text includes the biblical passages depicted in each drawing, synopses of the stories that Domenico tells, and commentaries. A reference section provides further information on the traditions of iconography and on the biblical and historical sources reflected in Domenico Tiepolo’s work.
Published in association with the Indiana University Art Museum
|"Gealt (Indiana University Art Museum) and Knox (emer., Univ. of British Columbia) have done a Herculean job of reconstruction, scouring public and private collections, inventories, and sales catalogs. . . . A monumental achievement that brings back a lost masterpiece, one of the most astonishing cycles of sacred history that has come down to the present. . . . Essential." — Choice
". . . To this reviewer, this work elicits awe: for the wonder engendered by Domenico’s deep and erudite piety and the authors’ meticulous work in revealing it. —Eighteenth Century" —Century Studies 40:4 2007
"Domenico Tiepolo has languished in the shadow of his prolific and powerful father, Giambattista, master of the grand fresco cycle. The son's strength lay in a highly personal narrative, brilliantly expressed, above all, in the form of large drawings. Assembled here in close to its entirety for the first time is Domenico Tiepolo's greatest and most ambitious project, a massive series of drawings giving the history of the life of Jesus and events around that history, probably done for the artist's personal pleasure. Sold off after Domenico's death in 1804, one section is now in the Louvre; others are widely dispersed. Gealt (Indiana University Art Museum) and Knox (emer., Univ. of British Columbia) have done a Herculean job of reconstruction, scouring public and private collections, inventories, and sales catalogs. The 313 recovered drawings are presented in full—page color illustrations that convey the delicacy of the pen and layered brown wash technique. Included is a page of commentary for each drawing; a revealing section, Traditions and Sources, traverses virtually the entire history of Bible illustration. A monumental achievement that brings back a lost masterpiece, one of the most astonishing cycles of sacred history that has come down to the present. Summing Up: Essential. General readers; lower—division undergraduates through professionals.—CHOICE June 2007" —D. Pincus, National Gallery of Art
"Quotes for the exhibit:More than being simply lovely, this exhibition of Domenico Tiepolo is historic." —New York Post, October 27, 2006 by James Gardner
"The Frick Museum’s Sepcial Collection rooms don’t always get a lot of attention, but they always have something interesting going on. This month is no exception. They are devoted to Domenico Tiepolo, a Venetian painter in the late 1700s. The Frick is showing his New Tesatment cycle, the drawings from which have not been exited together since 1804, when they were broken up and sold." —A Secular Devotion by Emily Hulme, 29 AM New York , October 2, 2006
"Virtuosity will be in the air at some of this week’s new museum shows. The Frick Colelction, for example, will roll out Domenic Tiepolo (1727—1804): A New Testament, which on Tuesday presents 60 large drawings in pen, brush, and ink by the 18th—century Venetian artist…." —New York Times ran an advance item on October 22, 2006 by Roberta Smith
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Table of Contents
|Preface and Acknowledgments
An Introductory Note on Domenico Tiepolo (1727-1804)
I. The History of the Material George Knox
II. The Visual Sources George Knox
III. The Literary Sources George Knox
IV. Drawing Conclusions: Domenico Tiepolo as Narrator of the New Testament Adelheid M. Gealt
V. The Drawings
Chapter Summaries and Commentary by Adelheid M. Gealt
Entries by George Knox
VI. Traditions and Sources George Knox
List of Subjects Illustrated and Subjects Omitted
List of Exhibitions
The book accompanies an exhibition that opened in October 24, 2006 at The Frick Collection
in New York.