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

The Madonna of Carmel and the Souls of the Purgatory (detail)

Oil on canvas
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

The detail represents the central part of the painting.

An early work by Tiepolo, this painting is violent and agitated in its composition, construction of the figures, impastos and in the Baroque light effects. The influences on Tiepolo that can be discerned range from Balestra to Piazzetta. Veronese's example is seen in the broadness of the space and the juxtaposition of episodes. The painting shows one of the fundamentals of Tiepolo's spiritual approach: a skeptical, disenchanted detachment from his subject matter. This typical attitude of the Enlightenment later carried him to the supremely undramatic balance of his maturity, in which he returned, in more modern terms, to the sardonic ideal of Veronese.