TIEPOLO, Giovanni Battista
(b. 1696, Venezia, d. 1770, Madrid)

The Holy Family Appearing in a Vision to St Gaetano

Oil on canvas
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

This canvas was painted for the altar of the little chapel in Venice's Palazzo Labia. A novel conception of the traditional 'Sacred Conversation," the scene occurs outside a building, in a rising series of diagonals that endow the picture with an illusory space far greater than its limited dimensions might seem to allow. In the foreground, by contrast, hovers the dark, austere figure of St Gaetano, immersed in a diffuse and uncertain light.