Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Study for an Inkstand

Artist:
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Italian, Venice 1696–1770 Madrid)
Date:
ca. 1740–45
Medium:
Pen and brown ink, gray wash, with splashes of brown wash on the left, over black chalk
Dimensions:
17 11/16 x 12 3/16 in. (45 x 31 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.1.425
Not on view
The celebrated Venetian painter, etcher, and draftsman Giambattista Tiepolo is best known for his theatrically painted ceilings. This sheet represents a lesser known side of Tiepolo’s production: his designs for metalwork. Formerly identified as a study for a fountain, this drawing is now thought to represent a design for an inkstand, possibly in silver, viewed slightly from below and to the left of its central axis. Two goose quill pens emerge from conical shell holders behind the two figures of mermaids, whose tails serve as support stands for the object. The central figure, holding a torch and a book, represents Sapienza, or knowledge. The drawing probably dates to the 1740s, when the artist produced other designs for silver.
Related Objects

Punchinello with Dumpling or Fritter

Artist: Circle of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Italian, Venice 1696–1770 Madrid) Date: 1696–1770 Medium: Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, over leadpoint or black chalk Accession: 1975.131.53 On view in:Not on view

Illustration for a Book: Cardinal with Troops Facing a Fortification on a Hilltop

Artist: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Italian, Venice 1696–1770 Madrid) Date: 1696–1770 Medium: Black chalk. Horizontal and vertical centering lines ruled in faint black chalk Accession: 59.600.199 On view in:Not on view

Illustration for a Book: Reception of Monks at a City Gate

Artist: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Italian, Venice 1696–1770 Madrid) Date: 1696–1770 Medium: Black chalk. Horizontal and vertical centering lines ruled in faint black chalk Accession: 59.600.210 On view in:Not on view

Illustration for a Book: Procession of Monks and Flagellants

Artist: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Italian, Venice 1696–1770 Madrid) Date: 1696–1770 Medium: Black chalk. Horizontal and vertical centering lines ruled in faint black chalk Accession: 59.600.189 On view in:Not on view

Illustration for a Book: General Carried in Triumph

Artist: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Italian, Venice 1696–1770 Madrid) Date: 1696–1770 Medium: Graphite or black chalk. Traces of reworking in red chalk. Horizontal and vertical centering lines ruled in faint graphite or black chalk Accession: 59.600.176 On view in:Not on view