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

The Virgin with Six Saints

Oil on canvas, 72,8 x 56 cm
Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest

In Venetian Cinquecento paintings of the Madonna, the Virgin and Child are usually represented in a terrestrial environment, with a landscape background, in the company of saints. This type of "santa conversazione" was subsequently altered to suit the taste of the baroque era: in most instances the Virgin Mary, floating among clouds, appears to the saints situated in earthly regions. As in the Budapest canvas and in a number of other pictures by Tiepolo, the painter conveys a vision, an apparition, seeking to establish a connection between celestial and earthly elements.

Most likely the Budapest picture was painted for some pious brotherhood. Its airily receding architecture, the marvellous purity of its resplendent colours, the harmony of construction are similar to Tiepolo's works of the years 1737 to 1740, The Virgin with Six Saints was probably produced simultaneously with pictures in the church of Gesuati, and the lost St Augustine altarpiece of San Salvatore.

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