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

Allegory of Merit Accompanied by Nobility and Virtue

Ca' Rezzonico, Venice

The palace contains significant fresco series. Giovanni Battista Crosato, working with the Lombard quadraturist Pietro Visconti, created the decoration for the grand ballroom c. 1753-56. In 1757, three different artists, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Jacopo Guarana, and Gaspare Diziani, were called upon to paint the ceilings of the four rooms on the first piano nobile overlooking the Rio di San Barbaba. Tiepolo's frescoes appear on the ceilings of the first and last rooms in this series of spaces, the Room of the Nuptial Allegory and the Room of the Throne, respectively.

The ceiling in the Room of the Throne represents the Allegory of Merit Accompanied by Nobility and Virtue, Ascends to the Temple of Immortal Glory. Merit is depicted as an old, bearded man, crowned with laurel, he is accompanied in his ascent toward the circular temple of Glory by Nobility, the winged figure holding a lance, and by Virtue, the elegantly dressed figure to the right. Other allegorical figures and some swirling putti witness the scene, in which Fame also participates, sounding a trumpet above. One of the winged putti, located just under the figure of Merit, holds the Golden Book of Venetian Nobility in which the names of families that could claim a Venetian patrician were listed, and where, beginning in 1687, the Rezzonico name was also inscribed.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.