Tiepolo Ceiling, Milan

Tiepolo Ceiling, Milan

John Singer Sargent

c. 1898–1900

Watercolor and graphite on white wove paper

14 x 9 7/8 inches (35.6 x 25.1 cm)

Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (50.130.25)

Gift of Mrs. Francis Ormond, 1950

“In preparing to paint murals at the Boston Public Library Sargent studied major decorative schemes. He may have visited the Palazzo Clerici in Milan particularly to see its renowned ceiling frescoes by the eighteenth-century Venetian painter Giambattista Tiepolo. Sargent studied the ceiling's composition with a delicate but precise underdrawing before building up the forms with layers of washes. Details of the loosely painted figures at the center of the sheet blend with those of the molding below, creating a confusion of forms that suggests the Baroque splendor of the hall.” — Museum website+

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