The drawings in the Holy Family series are dated by George Knox to circa 1754-62. He has also postulated, more specifically, that they could have been executed around 1760, when Giambattista was incapacitated by gout and unable to work normally. Bernard Aikema has suggested that the series could have been intended to serve as models for Giambattista's sons, Domenico and Lorenzo Tiepolo.2 Whether or not this was the case, Tiepolo surely executed these exquisite bravura sheets as independent works of art, and none can be related to a known painting by the artist.
1. A. Morassi, Dessins Vénitiens du Dix-huitième Siècle de la Collection du Duc de Talleyrand, Milan 1958, pp. 9-10
2. Tiepolo in Holland, Works by Giambattista and His Circle in Dutch Collections, exhib. cat., Rotterdam, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, 1996, p. 34
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