The Investiture of Bishop Harold as Duke of Franconia

Artist: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Italian, Venice 1696–1770 Madrid)

Date: ca. 1751–52

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 28 1/4 x 20 1/4 in. (71.8 x 51.4 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Purchase, 1871

Accession Number: 71.121


The picture depicts Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa investing Harold of Hochheim, Bishop of Würzburg, with the dukedom of Franconia. The event occurred in 1168. The picture is a preparatory study for one of the frescoes in the vault of the Kaisersaal (reception room) of the Residenz (the Prince-Bishop's Palace) in Würzburg. The final composition shows a number of major changes and is contained in a gilt stucco surrounded with painted plaster curtains.