TIEPOLO, Giovanni Battista
(b. 1696, Venezia, d. 1770, Madrid)
The Gathering of Manna1740-42
Oil on canvas, 1000 x 525 cm
The altarpiece shows Moses standing on a rocky outcrop, with outspread arms, his gaze raised towards Heaven, which has already heard his prayers. An angel pours bread from a large vase down to earth, where the hungry Israelites scurry around on the ground to collect it. The strict division of the composition into two different areas - the spheres of heaven and earth - is broken by the figure of Moses, who is placed dead centre, and so is characterized as a mediator between the two spheres.