Ratto d'Europa

Rape of Europa

Giambattista Tiepolo

Author
Giambattista Tiepolo
Venezia, 1696 - Madrid, 1770
Title
Rape of Europa
Catalogue
435
Date
prima metà del terzo decennio del XVIII
Support
Canvas, cm 105,5 x 141,5
Provenance
Acquistate presso il conte Francesco Agosti a Belluno (1898)
Hall
Sala 6

The mythological scenes of Giambattista Tiepolo 

Inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphoses, these mythological scenes, probably destined to decorate a unitary space inside an aristocratic residence, are an interesting testimony of the painter’s early production: sweeping natural landscapes with whimsical mythological episodes, enlivened by playful ironic details such as the cherub urinating next to the eagle and the meek bull dominated by the girl in The Rape of Europa. The canvases are a demonstration of the artist’s stylistic evolution, which would come to full fruition in the ’20s when, after abandoning the darker tones of Tenebrism and the stark chiaroscuro contrasts typical of Piazzetta’s style, Tiepolo “lightens” his palette and moves towards the airier atmospheres of Sebastiano Ricci, who had just returned to Venice after his sojourn in Paris and London.