Allegorical Figure Representing Arithmetic

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo Italian
and Girolamo Mengozzi (called Colonna) Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 642

These illusionistic depictions of allegorical sculptures from the Palazzo Valle Marchesini Sala in Vicenza were part of an immersive fresco cycle completed around 1760 and detached around 1900. Incised lines (still visible in raking light) helped to guide Tiepolo as he painted quickly before the walls’ wet plaster surface dried. Tiepolo consulted a specialist in perspective, Mengozzi, to ensure that the foreshortened depictions of architecture and sculpture aligned when one stood at the center of the room, evidence of just how site-specific such decorative programs could be.

Allegorical Figure Representing Arithmetic, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Italian, Venice 1696–1770 Madrid) and Workshop, Fresco, transferred to canvas

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