Giovanni Domenic Tiepolo (Italian, 1727-1804)

A Guard Tower on a Fortification

Giovanni Domenic Tiepolo (Italian, 1727-1804)


Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (1727 – 1804) was an Italian painter and print-maker in etching. He was the son of artist Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and elder brother of Lorenzo Baldissera Tiepolo.

Domenico was born in Venice, studied under his father, and by the age of 13 was the chief assistant to him. He was one of the many assistants, including Lorenzo, who transferred the designs of his father (executed in the ‘oil sketch’ invented by the same). By the age of 20, he was producing his own work for commissioners.

He assisted his father in Würzburg 1751-3, decorating the famous stairwell fresco, in Vicenza at the Villa Valmarana in 1757, and in Madrid at the palace of Charles III from 1762-70.

His painting style developed after the death of his father in 1770, at which time he returned to Venice, and worked there as well as in Genoa and Padua. His painting, though keeping the decorative influence of his father, moved from its spatial fancy and began to take a more realistic depiction. His portraits and scenes of life in Venice are characterised by movement, colour, and deliberate composition.

After a lapse of 15 years, his work developed from the religious and mythological subjects of his father to a more secular style. He produced 104 sketches of Punchinello, the standard character of the commedia dell’arte (which would later become Punch in Punch and Judy), a physically deformed clown. These were created as ‘Entertainments for the Children’, and attempted to poke fun at the pretensions and behaviour of the viewer.

The same protagonist featured in frescos (1759-1797) in his villa di Zianigo near Mirano. These frescoes were detached and nearly sold to be sold in France, but the then Minister of Public Education, blocked the export and acquired them for the city of Venice. Since 1936, they have been on display, in a near replica of the original arrangement, in the Ca Rezzonico Museum on the Grand Canal. The frescoes have undergone recent restoration.[1] The scenes depict often cryptic events, part genre and part epic-farce, of crowds of Pulcinellos at play and work, as well as a carnival scene. The genre thematic and humor are strikingly different from the grand epic apotheoses painted his father.

Many of Domenico’s works are drawings with ink wash, and he was a fine draftsman, although weaker than his father. His St. Ambrose Addressing the Young St. Augustine sketch is typical of the commissions he would receive. St. Ambrose, with the crozier and mitre, addresses and gives religious instruction to the beardless Saint Augustine. The composition has the pomp and grandiosity of his father’s work, set out as if part of a theatrical display. He, however, takes 18th-century Venice as the setting for this 4th-century act, drawing on his experience of the city and his many works depicting life in it.

Domenico was also a significant printmaker in etching, often reproducing his own or his father’s paintings. Nevertheless, he produced an original series of twenty illustrations of the Flight into Egypt, and one of the fourteen Stations of the Cross.

The Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia), the Blanton Museum of Art (University of Texas, Austin), the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Finnish National Gallery, the Honolulu Museum of Art, the Indiana University Art Museum, Kunst Indeks Danmark, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen, the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Strasbourg, the Musée du Louvre (Paris), Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (Madrid), Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (Barcelona), the National Gallery, London, the National Museums and Galleries of Wales, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pinacoteca Ambrosiana (Milan), Pinacoteca di Brera (Milan), the Portland Art Museum, the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, the Seattle Art Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Wadsworth Atheneum are among the public collections holding paintings by Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo.


Franz Caucig (Austrian/Slovic, 1755-1828)

Franz Caucig (Austrian/Slovic 1755 – 1828) “Orestes and Electra at the Tomb of Agaemnon”
Black ink and grey wash on paper 7 1/4 x 10 1/8 inches

Franz Caucig was a Neoclassical painter and drawer of Slovene origin. He is one of the best representatives of the Central European Neoclassicism. He attained the highest positions and recognitions of all the artists of Slovene descent.

Caucig was born in Gorizia, at the time the capital of the Princely County of Gorizia and Gradisca. The count Guido von Cobenzl, who spent the last years of his life in Gorizia, recognized the talent in the young boy, so when he was 20, he sent him to his son Philipp, who was very influential at the Austrian court, and who then greatly contributed to Caucig’s education and further career. Caucig studied the first principles of art at Vienna, and went, aided by a grant, in 1779, to Bologna and to Rome, where he remained until 1787. From 1787 till 1791, he lived in Vienna, and in 1791, he was enabled in the same way to visit Mantua, where he particularly copied Giulio Romano and reliefs on ancient sarcophagi. From 1791 to 1797, he resided at Venice, where he was in 1796 named a member of the committee of the Accademia di Belle Arti. He returned to Vienna in 1797, and in 1799 became the professor of drawing at the Vienna Academy. In 1810, Caucig’s nestor Cobenzl, who was the protector at the Academy, died and was replaced by Prince von Metternich. In 1815, Caucig was offered the post of the director of the Painting and Sculpture Class, but refused it, and accepted it only in 1820. He held the office until his death. He died due to a pneumonia four days after the death of his wife and was buried in Gloggnitz, a town in the mountains of Lower Austria. They had no children.

Caucig’s best-known painting Judgment of Solomon, based on the Biblical story. Oil on canvas, ca. 1817.

Caucig was acquainted with the French Neoclassicism (for example, he saw the Oath of the Horatii in 1784), but was most influenced by Raphael and by the School of Bologna, and also by the Baroque in the sense of dramatic diagonals. He was clever as a draughtsman, and created over 2000 drawings, the themes being the Italian and Austrian vedute, antique works of art and the works of arts of the Old Masters. He mainly depicted themes from the Antiquity, the Bible, and lives of the Christian saints, and some of his images were classified as belonging to the Egyptian Revival. His works illustrate secular moralistic beliefs, according to the wishes of his purchasers, such as in contrast to the Christian moralistic depictions of earlier periods. However, he also created altar paintings and portraits. He created over 30 oils. In accordance with the ideals of his era, lines are sharp, the composition is transparent and balanced, and the ratios of figures and objects are proportionate, the space is defined with architectural elements, whereas colors are cold and of secondary importance. Specimens of Caucig’s works are kept in Ljubljana, in Vienna, in Hungary, in Italy, in Czech Republic, in Serbia and in the United States.

James Jacques Joseph Tissot (French, 1836-1902)

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James Jacques Joseph Tissot (French, 1836-1902) Berthe, etching and drypoint, signed in plate lower right J.J. Tissot and dated 1883, 14″ x 10.5″

James Jacques Joseph Tissot was a very successful French painter and illustrator who, in 1856, went to Paris to study at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. Tissot made his Salon debut in 1859 and exhibited there successfully for several years. While in Paris, Tissot met and befriended the young James McNiell Whistler (1834-1903) and the Impressionist painter Edgar Degas (1834-1917).  In the 1860s, eager to see the world, the young painter traveled first to Italy and then to the England. In 1864 Tissot exhibited his first of many oil paintings at the Royal Academy in London. Around this time Tissot anglicized his Christian name to James Tissot; as much an entrepreneur as a painter, he most likely thought the name change would help him fit-in with the wealthy English patrons.

The Franco-Prussian war broke out in 1870; following the defeat of France and the occupation of Paris, Tissot fled to England where he had a number of contacts. His acquaintance Thomas Gibson Bowles (the founder, owner and editor of Vanity Fair) hired him to produce caricatures for his magazine, giving him an important entree into social and artistic circles. Tissot quickly became successful in London, where his oil paintings of social events and the prevailing fashion rapidly became popular. Having grown up around a father who was a linen draper and a mother who ran a successful millinery business, it was no surprise that Tissot had an acute awareness of the current fashion trends. In fact, Tissot was so preoccupied with elegant women and their elaborate dresses that his paintings provide extensive material for those who study costumes.

In 1872 Tissot began exhibiting regularly at the Royal Academy and continued to do so until 1881 (except for 1877-79). Tissot started to become a significant figure socially and in 1873 he purchased a house in St John’s Wood, a very affluent neighborhood outside of London.

In the mid 1870s Tissot met Kathleen Newton (1854-1882), an Irish divorcee with a dishonorable past; Newton had an affair with a man who was traveling to India to get married and became pregnant with his child. Dispute her history, Tissot was smitten with Kathleen Newton. She became his model, muse, mistress, and the great love of his life.  She was an extremely attractive young woman and, during this time, Tissot made her the dominant figure in many of his paintings. Unfortunately in the late 1870s her health started to decline; and in 1882 the desperately ill Kathleen committed suicide. One week after he buried his true love, Tissot left his home at St Johns Wood, and never returned. The house was later bought by Alma-Tadema.

Newton’s sudden death affected Tissot deeply and marked an important transition in his artistic development.  While working on one of the 15 large paintings for his 1885 his exhibition entitled Femme a Paris, Tissot claimed to have had a religious revelation. His religious experience led him to devote his remaining years to illustrating the Life of Christ and the Old Testament. Tissot felt impelled to depict the Palestine of Christ’s day and he made several trips to the Holy Land to do research. His series of 365 gouache illustrations for the Life of Christ (New York, Brooklyn Museum) were executed at the Chateau de Buillon, which he had inherited from his father. In 1888 the series was shown to enthusiastic crowds in Paris (1894 and 1895), London (1896) and New York (1898) and then toured North America until 1900. Tissot died in 1902 while living in the Château de Buillon.

Berthe’s pensive gaze suggests a budding sensuality; she appears to offer the viewer an invitation into her private world.  Prior to the invention of the cage crinoline in 1856, a well-brought-up lady was supposed to have eight layers of “refinement” – today we might call them simply  undergarments – which supposedly separated her from the outside world: her chemise, corset, corset-cover, crescent-shaped pad worn at the back of the waist and at least four petticoats. The very last layer, usually trimmed with lace, was the only layer that would be exposed to the public when climbing up the stairs or getting off a carriage. The display of any other undergarment along with exposed skin would suggest inappropriate behavior or an adventurously provocative woman.

Jean-Antoine Julien, known as Julien de Parme (1736-1799)

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Jean-Antoine Julien, known as Julien de Parme, (b. Cavigliano, Switzerland 1736 – 1799 d. Paris, France), Four Soldiers, brown ink and grey and brown wash, 249mm x 215mm

Jean-Antoine Julien, known as Julien de Parme, is considered one of the precursors of Neoclassical painting. The son of a stone-mason, de Parme received his initial training in Craveggia (an Italian region near the border of Switzerland) under a local artist, Giuseppe Borgnis, with whom he spent two years. After a short sojourn in Paris, de Parme settled in Rome, where he threw himself into a study of antiquity. He praised the great masters of the Renaissance and was strongly influenced by Raphael, Caravaggio, Carracci, and Domenichino – Carracci’s favorite pupil.

In Italy his main patron was Guillaume-Léon du TillotMarquis of Felino and Prime Minister to the Duke of Parma, who each year commissioned a large historical picture. In gratitude to the court of Parma, the artist decided to use the name Julien de Parme. When Guillaume-Léon du Tillot fell from power in 1772, de Parme decided to follow him into his Parisian exile. After du Tillot’s death in 1775, de Parme found another patron, the poet and politician Louis-Jules Barbon Mancini-Mazarini, duc de Nivernais (1716-98), for whom he worked for the next twenty years. Unfortunately, Julien de Parme’s style did not meet with great success in France and his career ended in obscurity and poverty. De Parme’s paintings and name resurfaced at the end of the 20th century, when in 1998 Pierre Rosenberg, the curator of the Louvre, devoted an entire exhibition to him.

De Parme’s Journal and his published correspondence with the Belgian painter André-Corneille Lens (1739-1822), president of the Society of painting, sculpture and architecture in Brussels, serve as invaluable documents for the artistic life in Rome and Paris at the end of the eighteenth century. De Parme’s earliest known extant picture is a life-size painting of Cupid (1762), currently in the Barbieri private collection in Parma.

Source: SPHINX FINE ART – London

Cowper’s The Anatomy of Humane Bodies (1698)


William Cowper’s first edition of The Anatomy of Humane Bodies (1698) – 114 plates, 105 designed by Gérard de Lairesse.

The Anatomy of Humane Bodies is a valued volume in the The Knohl Antiquarian Book Collection for a number of reasons. William Cowper’s First Edition, English language folio is both a seminal piece of medical literature (still relevant and in use today) and a fascinating illustration of an early international intellectual property dispute. Additionally, it contains 105 intricate and hauntingly detailed anatomical drawings by Gérard de Lairesse (1640–1711), the most popular painter of the Dutch Republic after the death of Rembrandt and a featured artist in The Knohl Painting Collection. (See THE CIRCUMCISION)

De Lairesse’s sophisticated anatomical illustrations, engraved by the Amsterdam-born artist Abraham Blooteling, were designed to accompany Govard Bidloo’s Latin text, Anatomia humani corporis, published in 1685. There was also an edition in Dutch published in 1690. Bidloo’s text was widely criticized and sales of the book were disappointing. It is unclear how Cowper, an English surgeon and anatomist, acquired the plates, although it is believed that Bidloo’s publisher sold the plates to the surgeon to recoup some of his losses. Using a great deal of original research, Cowper rewrote the text and commissioned nine new plates to accompany the original 105 illustrations by de Lairesse. At the time of publication, Cowper’s book, which was limited to 300 copies, was hailed as the most comprehensive atlas of human anatomy and used as the basis for later Latin editions. However, Cowper’s 1698 folio never acknowledged Bidloo’s contribution or de Lairesse’s illustrations, even going so far as to paste over Bidloo’s name with his own on the engraved allegorical title page. Unfortunately, at this time in history copyright laws did not exist. Without legal recourse, Bidloo published several hostile pamphlets attacking Cowper, resulting in a bitter plagiarism dispute — one of the most famous in medical history.

001971_8001971_10 In his anatomical illustrations, Gerard de Lairesse sets ordinary household objects next to dramatically posed skeletons and drapes macabre cut-up torsos with delicate linens. He peels back the soft flesh to reveal raw cartilage, fibrous ligaments, and an unborn fetus. Although he portrays his figures in a tender manner, he reminds his audience of the grisly reality of the dissection room by inserting pins, ropes, and props used to position body parts; he even goes so far as to place a fly inside an open abdomen.

Pascoli Antonio, (Italian, 16th Century)

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Pas[coli] An[tonio], (Italian, 16th Century), The Massacre of the Innocents with a Border of Battling Nudes Among Acanthus, signed and dated 1577, pen and brown ink with brown wash on vellum, 420mm x 531mm

After painting by Peter Paul Rubens – based on an episode in the Bible, ‘Massacre of the Innocents’ – the infanticide committed by the King of Judea, Herod the Great (the Gospel of Matthew, 2:16-18).


C.D.K. – signed with initials & dated 1686

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C.D.K., Virgin and Child Adored by Saints, brown ink & grey wash signed with initials and dated 1686, 246mm x 310mm


Giovanni Batista Cipriani, (1727, Florence – 1785, London)

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Giovanni Batista Cipriani, (1727, Florence – 1785, London), study of Neptune & Galatea, black chalk on paper, 189mm x 223 mm

Giovanni Battista Cipriani, RA, also known as Giuseppe Cipriani, was an Italian a painter and prolific draftsman of classical and allegorical subjects. In 1755 he moved to England and most of his work there consisted of murals for the decoration of private residences and designs for prints, many of which were engraved by his friend Francesco Bartolozzi. As a founding member (1768) of the Royal Academy, Cipriani was asked to design its diploma, which was engraved by Francesco Bartolozzi.

Cipriani was born in Florence, but his family was originally from Pistoia. He first studied under Ignatius Hugford, a Florentine artist of English descent, then under Anton Domenico Gabbiani, another Florentine painter.

Cipriani spent several years (1750 – 1753) in Rome, where he became acquainted with the architect, Sir William Chambers, and the sculptor, Joseph Wilton, with whom he accompanied to England in August 1755.

Before moving to England he painted two pictures for the Abbey of San Michele in Pistoia, which launched him on his long and successful career. Soon after he was commissioned to paint one of the canvases on the organ in the Church of Santa Maria Maddalena dei Pazzi in Florence; and for the Church of the Oratory of Gesù Pellegrino, outside of the Porta San Galloand, he painted the main altarpiece.

On his arrival to England in 1755, Lord Tilney, the Duke of Richmond, as well as other noblemen, requested Cipriani’s services. When William Chambers designed the Albany in London for Lord Holland, Cipriani was asked to paint one of the ceilings; he was also commissioned to  paint part of a ceiling in Buckingham House and a room with poetical subjects at Standlynch in Wiltshire.

At Somerset House, also built by his friend Chambers, he prepared the decorations for the interior of the north block, including the rooms into which the Royal Academy had recently moved – these rooms now house the Courtauld Collection. Sir Joshua Reynolds painted the central panel of the Royal Academy’s anteroom, but the four compartments in the coves, representing Allegory, Fable, Nature and History, were Cipriani’s. In the same building he also painted the monochrome decorations in the joint anteroom of the Royal and Antiquarian Societies.

According to Joseph Baretti, in his Guide through the Royal Academy (1780), “the whole of the carvings in the various fronts of Somerset Place — excepting Bacon’s bronze figures — were carved from finished drawings made by Cipriani.” These designs include the five masks forming the keystones to the arches on the courtyard side of the vestibule, and the two above the doors leading into the wings of the north block, all believed to have been carved by Joseph Nollekens. The grotesque groups flanking the main doorways on three sides of the quadrangle and the central doorway on the terrace also appear to have been designed by Cipriani.

Cipriani was a founder member (1768) of the Royal Academy, and designed its diploma, which was engraved by Francesco Bartolozzi. In 1769, in recognition of his services, the members presented him with a silver cup with a commemorative inscription.

Cipriani was often employed by publishers to make pen and ink drawings, many of them engraved by his friend Bartolozzi. However, Capriani made some engravings himself, including “The Death of Cleopatra,” after Benvenuto Cellini; “The Descent of the Holy Ghost,” after Gabbiani; and portraits for Thomas Hollis’s memoirs (1780). He also painted allegorical designs for the Gold State Coach and the Lord Mayor’s Gold Coach, and repaired Verrio’s paintings at Windsor and Rubens’s ceiling in the Banqueting House at Whitehall.

Cipriani is also known for his ornate furniture decorations and occasional drawer and door handle designs. Many of his medallions, most groups of nymphs and amorini, were frequently reproduced on elegant satin-wood furniture, which was growing popular and by the end of the 18th century became all the rage. These designs were sometimes inlaid in marquetry, but more often repainted onto the wood by other hands. It is believed that Cipriani painted some of the furniture designed by the Adams.

Cipriani died at Hammersmith in west London, and was buried at Chelsea, where Bartolozzi erected a monument to his memory. He married an Englishwoman, and had two sons. His pupils included: John Alexander Gresse (1741–1794); Charles Grignion the Younger (1754–1804); and Mauritius Lowe (1746–1793)

Drawings by him are in both the British Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum.



Vincenzo Tamagni, Student of Raphael (Italian, 1492 – c. 1516)

IMG_5132 WEBVincenzo Tamagni [also known as: Vincenzo De San Gremignano – Student of Raphael] (Italian, 1492 – c. 1516), The Angel of the Annunciation, study on paper,  216mm x 144mm

Vincenzo Tamagni was an Italian Renaissance painter born in San Gimignano. He became an apprentice first with il Sodoma at Monte Oliveto Maggiore, and then worked under Raphael in the Vatican Palace in Rome. Tamagni was sufficiently skilled that distinguishing between his hands and that of Raphael is still difficult. There is no doubt that Tamagni assisted Raphael with many of the frescoes, and perhaps completed many of Raphael’s designs.

Tamagni painted primarily in the towns surrounding Siena. His earliest frescoes are found in Montalcino, a small town near Siena. In San Gimignano he painted altarpieces for San Girolamo, a Renaissance style church just outside of the old walled city of Volterra. His paintings can also be found in the Basilica of SantAgostino in Rome, one of the first Roman churches built during the Renaissance. In conjunction with Lo Spagna, his frescoes also decorated Santa Maria d’Arrone in Umbria

Tamagni is featured in Giorgio Vasari’s Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, and is referred to as Vincenzo da San Gimignano.

Luigi Sabatelli (Florence 1772 – Milan 1850)

IMG_5141 WEBLuigi Sabatelli (Florence 1772 – Milan 1850), Roman Warrior with Javelin, preliminary drawing

Luigi was an Italian painter, printmaker and draughtsman. After training in Florence in the Neoclassical tradition, he won a scholarship to study in Rome. From 1789 to 1794, the young artist lived and studied in Rome under the patronage of Tommaso Puccini, an intellectual and connoisseur who later became Director of the Gallerie Fiorentine. 

Sabatelli was first attracted to the rigor of François-Guillaume Ménageot, who taught at the Académie de France, but later became interested in a more contemporary classicism, practiced by the followers of David, such as François-Xavier Fabre.

Sabatelli returned to Florence in 1795 and began to introduce into his painting elements borrowed from Antoine-Jean Gros. Sabatelli’s paintings of the 1790s and early 1800s, for example the Florentine Plaque (1801), the Plague Victims of Jaffa and the large-scale battles commissioned by Tommaso Puccini, are closely related to the Napoleonic battle scenes of Gros and Anne-Louis Girodet.

In 1808, at the age of 35, he was appointed the Chair of Painting at The Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera (Academy of Fine Arts of Brera), where he remained for 40 years.

Between the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century, Sabatelli worked on a group of etchings of the Via Crucis, which became the most widely circulated series in Tuscany.

His first important work in oils was the large picture representing the Meeting of David and Abigail, which now hangs opposite Benvenuti’s Judith in the Arezzo Cathedral. At this time, he established himself as one of the key figures in the revival of Florentine painting. For inspiration he turned to literature, dwelling particularly on characters from Dante. In order to expand his repertory, he also drew on Shakespeare and Milton, whose works were becoming increasingly popular.

His most famous work, made in Florence during 1820-25, is in the Hall of the Iliad at the Pitti Palace (the first room of the Picture Gallery), consisting of eight lunettes and a large circular medallion illustrating scenes from the Homeric poems. He is also know for the decoration of Niccolò Puccini’s villa in Pistoia (1840) and paintings of Astronomy and Mathematics (1841) for the Tribuna in the Palazzo della Specola (now the Museo Zoologico ‘la Specola’) in Florence.

His sons, Giuseppe (1813–1843) and Francesco Sabatelli (1801–1829), were also painters and professors of art in Florence; both died young. Sabatelli’s pupils included Carlo Arienti, Giuseppe Sogni, Luigi Pedrazzi, Giuseppe Penuti, Michelangelo Fumagalli, Giacomo Marinez, Girolamo Daverio Luzzi, and Giulio Arrivabene.



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About The Curator

Carol Seelig Eastman is the Executive Director and Chief Curator of The Knohl Collection. In this role, she passionately explores the artist’s personal, social, and political world and places their art in a meaningful historical context. Her thematic exhibitions provide visual and educational stimulation that attract and engage a diverse museum audience.