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Provenance

Possibly painted for a palace in Venice.[1] Probably Francesco Artaria [1744-1808], Como and Venice; from 1798 Villa Giròla, near Blevio; by descent to Domenico Artaria, inventoried in the Villa Giróla c. 1829;[2] by descent to August Artaria [d. 1893], who upon the sale of the villa in 1870 took it to Vienna, where it remained in the warehouse of the family firm, Artaria & Co., until rediscovered in 1900;[3] sold 1911 via an unknown dealer in Berlin to (Charles Sedelmeyer, Paris);[4] purchased 1927 by (Galerie Van Dieman, Berlin-Amsterdam-New York); sold 1927 or 1928 to a private collector, New York,[5] probably identical with the following. William Robert Timken [1866-1949] and Lillian Guyer Timken [1881-1959], Croton-on-Hudson, New York, and following Mr. Timken's death, New York City;[6] bequest 1960 to NGA.

Exhibition History
1967
Loan for display with permanent collection, Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia, Athens, 1967-1971.
Bibliography
1902
Modern, Heinrich. Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. Eine Studie. Vienna, 1902: 6-16, pl. 2.
1902
Modern, Heinrich. "Les peintures de Tiepolo à la Villa Girola." Gazette des Beaux-Arts 3rd. ser., vol. 27 (1902): 477-488, repro. 485; 3rd. ser., vol. 28 (1902): 239-241.
1906
Sticotti, Piero. "Review of Giulio Caprin, Trieste." Archeografo Triestino, 3rd. ser., vol. 3.1 (1906): 193, as not by Tiepolo.
1909
Molmenti, Pompeo. G. B. Tiepolo. La sua vita e le sue opere. Milan, 1909: 277-278, repro. 280, as not by Tiepolo.
1910
Sack, Eduard. Giambattista and Domenico Tiepolo. Ihr Leben und Ihre Werke. Hamburg, 1910: 203, no. 409, fig. 202.
1911
Molmenti, Pompeo. G. B. Tiepolo. Paris, 1911: 212-214, pl. 225.
1913
Illustrated Catalogue of the Twelfth Series of 100 Paintings by Old Masters of the Dtuch, Flemish, Italian and English Schools, being a Portion of the Sedelmeyer Gallery. Paris, 1913: 86, no. 56, repro.
1920
Mauclaire, Camille. Princes de l'esprit. Paris, 1920: 254-256.
1927
Posse, Hans. "Der Triumph der Amphitrite von Giovanni Battista Tiepolo." Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst 61 (1927-1928): 370-372, repro. 373.
1931
Venturi, Lionello. Pitture italiane in America. Milan, 1931. Translated as Italian Paintings in America. 3 vols. New York and Milan, 1933: 3:pl. 587.
1938
Loan Exhibition of Paintings, Drawings, and Prints by the Two Tiepolos, Giambattista and Giandomenico. Exh. cat. Art Institute of Chicago, 1938: 39.
1943
Morassi, Antonio. Tiepolo. Bergamo, 1943: 22, fig. 53.
1955
Morassi, Antonio. G. B. Tiepolo. His Life and Work. London, 1955: 145.
1962
Morassi, Antonio. A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings of G. B. Tiepolo. London, 1962: 30, fig. 260.
1965
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 127.
1968
European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 114, repro.
1968
Pallucchini, Anna. L'opera completa di Giambattista Tiepolo. Milan, 1968: 106, no. 137, repro.
1970
Cailleux, Jean. "Tiepolo and Boucher." In Atti del Congresso internazionale di studi sul Tiepolo. Milan, 1970: 88.
1972
Fredericksen, Burton B., and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972: 198.
1975
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 340, repro.
1979
Shapley, Fern Rusk. Catalogue of the Italian Paintings. 2 vols. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1979: I:454-456, II:pl. 326.
1985
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 390, repro.
1985
Pignatti, Terisio. Five Centuries of Italian Painting from the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation. Houston, 1985: 190.
1992
Bailey, Colin B. "'The Greatest Work of the Painter Shall Be History': History Painting in the Blaffer Collection." In Masterpieces of Baroque Painting from the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation. Exh. cat. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1992: 96.
1993
Brown, Beverly Louise. Giambattista Tiepolo: Master of the Oil Sketch. Exh. cat. Kimbell Art Museum, Ft. Worth. Milan and New York, 1993: 203-205, under no. 21.
1993
Gemin, Massimo, and Filippo Pedrocco. Giambattista Tiepolo. Venice, 1993: 101, 338, no. 244, repro.
1996
De Grazia, Diane, and Eric Garberson, with Edgar Peters Bowron, Peter M. Lukehart, and Mitchell Merling. Italian Paintings of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1996: 301-308, repro. 303.
2002
Pedrocco, Filippo. Giambattista Tiepolo. Milan, 2002: no. 146/3, repro.
Technical Summary

The support is a fairly coarse plain-weave fabric. The ground is yellowish red in color. The paint was applied fairly broadly and thickly with some areas over others, although there is no extensive, considered layering structure. The figural elements were drawn in with loose and expressive brushwork. X-radiographs reveal many parts drawn directly on the canvas with fluid strokes. Other areas - the mountains and sky, for example - were painted with numerous short, brushy strokes that produce areas of texture rather than linear outlines. Some areas show a lack of finish or incorrect drawing, such as the foot of the putto at upper left and the legs of the putto at lower right next to Bacchus. X-radiographs reveal that the original composition included a ledge along the bottom edge of the canvas with griffins gripping balls at either end. A column entwined with acanthus leaves and an entablature closed the right side of the composition, and probably also the left. These elements were painted out before the crouching figure of Rhea at lower left was added, apparently at a later date; there are also remnants of a darker layer over this figure.

Extensive damage, including numerous complex tears and holes, is visible in x-radiographs. The inpainting and areas of overpaint are often crude and have discolored. The varnish is extremely discolored. The painting was relined and the discolored varnish layers thinned during treatment in 1960, probably by Francis Sullivan.