TIEPOLO, Italian family of painters, draughtsmen and etchers

The greatest member of this Venetian family was Giambattista Tiepolo, the sixth and last child of Domenico Tiepolo, a merchant, and Orsetta, whose maiden name is not known. He was baptized Giovanni Battista after his godfather, Giovanni Battista Doria, a Venetian nobleman, on 16 April 1696 in San Pietro di Castello, the family's local church and at that time the cathedral of Venice. Although their name belonged to one of the oldest and most distinguished of Venetian patrician families, this Tiepolo family did not claim noble lineage. However, perhaps through business connections, not only Giambattista but some of his siblings acquired highborn godparents. Domenico died about a year after Giambattista's birth, and it is possible that Orsetta brought up her children - all under ten at the time of their father's death — in straitened circumstances. In 1719 Giambattista married Maria Cecilia Guardi, sister of the painters Giovanni Antonio and Francesco Guardi. Of their ten children, four daughters and three sons survived to adulthood. One of the sons, Giuseppe, entered the priesthood and the other two, Giandomenico Tiepolo and Lorenzo Tiepolo, became painters and assistants to their father. Giandomenico developed into an accomplished artist with an independent talent for wittily observed scenes from everyday life; Lorenzo's gifts were limited, but the work they did together with their father in creating fresco cycles — in Spain and northern Europe as well as Italy — brought the monumental tradition of Italian art to a glorious end.