Study for "The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian" (for the Augustinian monastery at Diessen, Germany)

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo1739

The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland, United States

In 1739 a pair of monumental altarpieces by two Venetian painters (Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and Giambattista Pittoni) were installed in a church in southern Germany, part of a carefully orchestrated decorative program that included architecture, painting, sculpture, and decorative stuccowork. This sketch is Tiepolo’s initial design for his altarpiece, submitted for approval before beginning the final work. With quick, assured brushstrokes, he represents the Christian martyr Sebastian bound to a tree and shot with arrows, flooded with radiant light to symbolize his devotion to his faith.

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  • Title: Study for "The Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian" (for the Augustinian monastery at Diessen, Germany)
  • Creator: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Italian, 1696–1770)
  • Date Created: 1739
  • Physical Dimensions: Framed: 67.5 x 45.5 x 6 cm (26 9/16 x 17 15/16 x 2 3/8 in.); Unframed: 51.7 x 31.7 cm (20 3/8 x 12 1/2 in.)
  • Provenance: Sale, Munich, 1804, unsold and then transferred to the Zentralgemäldegalerie, Bayerischen Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich, deaccessioned and sold at auction, (Sale, Schloss Schleißheim, Augsburg, April 13-23, 1852, lot 16, sold to “Eberle”), Possibly Robert Eberle [1815-1860], Munich, probably by descent to a Vienna collector1, Collector, Vienna, sold to a “minor collector”1, “Minor collector,” Vienna, probably sold or consigned to Galerie Fröhlich1, (Galerie Fröhlich, Vienna, sold to Jacques Seligmann & Co.)1, (Jacques Seligmann & Co., New York, NY, probably sold to Dr. Max Kadisch)1, Probably Dr. Max Kadisch, Vienna, to Jacques Seligmann & Co.1, (Jacques Seligmann & Co., New York, New York, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art)1, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio Delia E. Holden and L.E. Holden Funds
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1946.277
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Department: European Painting and Sculpture
  • Culture: Italy, 18th century
  • Credit Line: Delia E. Holden and L. E. Holden Funds
  • Collection: P - Italian 18th Century
  • Accession Number: 1946.277

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