TIEPOLO, Giovanni Domenico
(b. 1727, Venezia, d. 1804, Venezia)

Mondo Novo

Detached fresco, 205 x 525 cm
Museo del Settecento Veneziano, Ca' Rezzonico, Venice

This scene was located in the portego (vestibule) of the family villa at Zianigo.

Mondo Novo, a kind of panopticon in which one could view pictures of exotic worlds, was part of Venice's Carnival. With few exceptions, the figures in the crowd crushed close together in front of the panopticon, costumed according to class and age, turn their backs on the viewer. The few who are not intensely focused on the attraction are shown in profile: aside from the two men on the right, who have been identified as Giovanni Battista and Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo, these are the boy dressed in white in the centre and the Pulcinella at the far left.

The three scenes on the walls of the portego (Mondo Novo; Minuet; Promenade) are infused with melancholy. Mondo Novo is almost the last will and testament of Venice's decorative tradition, just a few years before the fall of the Republic. Society was now turning its back on the painter and painting, enchanted by the new "machine" of illusions.

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