Forty years after they last went memorably on display, Giambattista Tiepolo's capricci and scherzi return to Udine Castle.
The entire corpus of the Venetian artist’s magnificent graphic production will be displayed in the Galleria d’Arte Antica of Udine Castle along with a selection of his drawings, works directly linked to the themes of the engravings. All flanked by oils by Tiepolo and his followers and the cycles of frescoes that Giambattista Tiepolo and his son Giandomenico left behind them in the city and that gave Udine the name of the “City of Tiepolo”. “Witty and amusing” was Zanetti’s enthusiastic judgement as he admired the Tiepolo engravings for the first time with fascination. What struck him most was the etching technique: the figures seem sketched without hesitation, on the spur of the moment, in one go, you could say. Tiepolo himself said “conceiving, drawing and cutting is but a moment for me…”. He was also surprised by the subjects – scenes in which life seems portrayed in the theatre, where lights and shadows seem to playfully chase each other, scenes filled with strange characters: magicians, skeletons and hairy dogs, scenes in which the eyes capture the gaze of the observers, almost as if to stop them watching the whole scenario. Visions that seem oneiric, suspended, flickering against the clearness of the paper. With their aesthetic and executive quality, these works are a unique body in the history of graphic art. The etchings and drawings will be accompanied by original plates, the matrixes for the engravings, to paint a clear picture of the whole process that led to their production. All this along a route that offers a unique opportunity to take a step closer to Tiepolo’s secrets, without presuming to reach their very heart but certain of the priceless thrill of seeing them. Let yourself be enchanted or, rather, spellbound.