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1938

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2020

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Drawing, Design for Dedication Page to Charles III of Spain and the Two Sicilies

This is a Drawing. It was created by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. We acquired it in 1938. Its medium is pen and brown ink, brush and wash, black chalk on white laid paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Under the sun’s radiant gaze, a winged figure places the sculpted bust of King Charles III of Spain and the Two Sicilies on a pedestal. Below, cherubs caper amidst symbols of the arts and war. Loose, gestural lines create a lively scene and warm washes of ink suggest a greater depth.

Giovanni-Battista Tiepolo produced this drawing towards the end of his life, when his fame was at its height. It is a study for the frontispiece of Rovine della città di Pesto detta ancora Posidonia, a book on the recently rediscovered ruins of Paestum, published in Rome in 1784. Material for the book was commissioned by Count Felice Gazzola, an amateur archeologist and engineer at the service of the king. The Greek ruins are alluded to by the Doric columns visible in the upper left corner.

In the final etching, the dedication to Charles is located on the pedestal, in place of the laurel wreath. The Venetian printmaker Giovanni Volpato translated Tiepolo’s energetic sketch into a highly finished print. The preliminary study for this drawing is at the Prado museum in Spain.

This object was bequest of Erskine Hewitt.

Our curators have highlighted 2 objects that are related to this one.

Cite this object as

Drawing, Design for Dedication Page to Charles III of Spain and the Two Sicilies; Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Italian, 1692 - 1770); Italy; pen and brown ink, brush and wash, black chalk on white laid paper; 1938-57-219-a

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Hewitt Sisters Collect.

This image is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18349339/ |title=Drawing, Design for Dedication Page to Charles III of Spain and the Two Sicilies |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=4 August 2020 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>