Lot 69
  • 69

Lorenzo Baldissera Tiepolo

120,000 - 160,000 GBP
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  • Lorenzo Baldissera Tiepolo
  • portrait of an oriental, head and shoulders, wearing a bejewelled blue hat and a red fur-trimmed coat
  • Pastel on paper, laid down on canvas


L. Grassi, Florence (according to Sack, in Lit., op.cit.);
Oscar Huldschinsky, Berlin, his sale, Paul Cassirer and Hugo Helbing, Berlin, 10-11 May 1928, lot 57, reproduced. pl. XLVI (as Giovanni Battista Tiepolo);
Hans Duensing, Boizenburg, by descent;
sale, London, Sotheby's, 6 July 1966, lot 70, reproduced (as Giovanni Battista Tiepolo)


Berlin, Akademie, Bildnis Ausstellung, 1909, cat. no. 143 (as G.B. Tiepolo);
Pfäffikon SZ, Seedam-Kulturzentrum and Geneva, Musée d'art et d'histoire, Venezianische Kunst in der Schweiz und in Liechtenstein, 1978, cat. no. 145, reproduced (as Lorenzo Tiepolo)


W. Bode, et al., Die Sammlung Oscar Huldschinsky, Frankfurt 1908, pl. XLI;
P. Molmenti, G.B. Tiepolo, Milan 1909, p. 246;
E. Sack, Giambattista und Domenico Tiepolo, Hamburg 1910, vol. 1, p. 186, no. 308a, and p. 202, under no. 402 and reproduced fig. 200 (Sack mistakenly reproduced this pastel instead of the oil painting he lists as no. 402, which is now in the Correr, and which differs slightly in composition);
T. Pignatti, Il Museo Correr di Venezia, Dipinti del XVII e XVIII Secolo, Venezia 1960, vol. 2, p. 327, under no. 2183 (as Giovanni Battista Tiepolo);
G. Knox, Domenico Tiepolo, Raccolta di Teste, Udine 1970, item d, under Testa I, 17 
C. Thiem, 'Lorenzo Tiepolos Position innerhalb der Künstlerfamilie Tiepolo', Pantheon, vol. LI, 1993, p.143, reproduced p. 144, fig. 14 (as Lorenzo Tiepolo);


The paper is laid down on the original canvas, on what seems to be the original stretcher. The drawing is securely mounted behind glass which protects the surface. The glass has not been removed. Some abrasions and minor losses around the edges towards the top and on diagonal creases at the upper corners, that at the top left is more evident. Small holes at the top left and bottom left corners. Some horizontal wrinkles in the paper (from the original paper-making process), visible across centre. A few very small pin holes, mostly towards the right. One or two small dark foxing marks, top right and in figure's shoulder. Overall condition of pastel extremely good and fresh. Sold in an elaborate painted and gilded frame.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

This vivid and beautifully-drawn pastel is an important addition to the growing corpus of works convincingly attributed to Lorenzo Tiepolo. Its high quality explains the former attribution to Giambattista, but he rarely worked in pastel, whereas Lorenzo mastered it from an early age, making portraits as well as works inspired by his father's oil paintings. 

Lorenzo, the youngest child of Giambattista Tiepolo, accompanied his father and elder brother, Giandomenico, to Würzburg in 1750 to assist them with their commissions there. He returned to Venice in 1753 where he remained until leaving for Spain, again with his father and brother, in 1762. He married a Spanish girl and lived for the rest of his life in Madrid, receiving extensive royal patronage. Until recently, his artistic personality was rather shadowy, and paintings or drawings which could not clearly be attributed to Giambattista or Giandomenico tended to be given to Lorenzo. Obviously he was trained by his father and greatly influenced by his style, and the fact that he made a number of etchings after his father's compositions has tended to reinforce the impression that he was a less individual personality. However, correspondence with a German patron after his Würzburg visit indicates that already at a young age he was establishing himself as a portraitist in pastels, a medium which his father and brother seem not to have employed. One of his earliest recorded works is a very accomplished pastel portrait of his mother, Cecilia Guardi (Venice, Ca' Rezzonico, signed and dated 1757).1  In the years in Venice before he left for Spain, it appears that he continued to work in a style close to his father's and also made pastel copies of works by him.2  When he moved to Spain, he developed a different style, bolder in coloring, with more solid and rounded figures, influenced most probably by the example of Mengs. Many works from these years survive, including a group of very charming pastels with genre subjects (Royal Palace, Madrid).3

The type of a bearded man wearing exotic, fur-trimmed garments, and often a turban or hat, appears throughout the work of the Tiepolo family - in drawings, in paintings and in frescoes. As single figures they are generally called Orientals or Scholars or sometimes Patriarchs. The type is thought to derive from the work of Rembrandt and of Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione and to represent an exotic world.

The composition of the present lot is very close to that of an oil painting by Giovanni Battista now in the Ca' Rezzonico which shows a very similar figure in the same pose, but with a different angle to his gaze and with a brooch of an antique grotesque head decorating his sleeve.4  Giandomenico used that painting as the model for one of his etched Teste, where the figure is in reverse and somewhat more compact.5  Giandomenico's Teste etchings were published between 1770 and 1774 but the paintings by Giambattista on which some are based were probably painted circa 1757-59. Lorenzo would have made this pastel version of his father's composition at the same period, like the two pastels cited above. The strong contrasts in the coloring, the more direct gaze which makes it resemble a portrait rather than a genre figure, and the particular treatment of the hand are all characteristics of Lorenzo's work from his Venetian period, of which traces are still found in his Spanish works.

Oscar Huldschinsky was a distinguished collector whose sale catalogue contains many outstanding works of art. With Bode and other scholars, he was influential in the in the foundation of the Kaiser Friedrich Museum.

1.  See Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, Lorenzo Tiepolo, 1999, p. 130, cat. no. 26, reproduced
2.  ibid., p.27, fig. 8, p. 28, fig. 9.
ibid., pp. 104-113
4.  See Pignatti, op. cit., p.328
5.  See Knox, op. cit., fig. I, 17