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Giovanni Battista Tiepolo | Caricature of a Fat Man, Seen From Behind

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Italian, 1696–1770). Caricature of a Fat Man, Seen From Behind, 1760(?). Pen and black ink, gray wash; 6 1/2 x 4 3/4 in. (16.5 x 12 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Robert Lehman Collection, 1975 (1975.1.459)

Exhibition Objects

Tiepolo Caricatures from the Robert Lehman Collection

June 30–September 28, 2014

While the achievements of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Italian, 1696–1770) and Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (Italian, 1727–1804) as fresco painters, draftsmen, and printmakers in Italy, Germany, and Spain have been celebrated extensively, their caricatures have not garnered equal attention. This exhibition of drawings by the Tiepolos from the Robert Lehman Collection presents a cast of characters shared between father and son. Giambattista's caricature studies, produced in great quantity and pasted into albums, catalogue variations of pose and dress derived from contemporary Venetian life. Retained after his father's death, Domenico looked to Giambattista's readily convenient repertoire for inspiration as he turned to drawing in his later years. Produced at the very end of his life, Domenico's Divertimento per li regazzi (Entertainment for Children), a series of 104 drawings featuring the commedia dell'arte character Punchinello, is his crowning achievement as a draftsman. Conventions of gesture, rhetoric, costume, and performance are considered in this small selection of Tiepolo caricatures.