The Departure of the Gondola

Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 643

Though the younger Tiepolo emulated his father in decorative schemes, he came into his own as an artist with idealized depictions of contemporary Venetian life such as this. His figures are more tightly painted, often given a silvery tonality, and their activities are more anecdotal. Here, the disguises of white masks (morette) and short black veils (bautte) indicate the season is Carnival, in February, when small cabins (felzi) were installed on gondolas for warmth. The two men dressed in blue-and-white livery attest to Venice’s significant population of enslaved and freed people of color, many of whom were part of the guild of the gondoliers.

The Departure of the Gondola, Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (Italian, Venice 1727–1804 Venice), Oil on canvas

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