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Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
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The greatest Italian painter of the eighteenth century, Tiepolo established himself on the Venetian art scene at a precociously early age. First recorded as a member of the painters' guild (Fraglia) in 1717, Tiepolo had already become court painter and artistic advisor to Doge Giovanni Cornaro in 1716 at the age of twenty. The late baroque Venetian artist Gregorio Lazzarini was Tiepolo's initial teacher. However, the influence of other masters is evident, including that of Giovanni Battista Piazzetta. Tiepolo later adopted the more decorative palette of his contemporary Sebastiano Ricci and of the sixteenth-century artist Paolo Veronese. This blond tonality is not only well suited to the artistic preferences of the rococo but is also a characteristic of the fresco medium. In addition to easel paintings and altarpieces, Tiepolo produced numerous fresco decorations for both churches and secular buildings in Venice, the Veneto, and in many European cities. The most famous of these cycles is in the Residenz at Wurzburg, where Tiepolo and his sons, Giovanni Domenico and Lorenzo, worked at the invitation of Prince-Bishop Karl Phillip von Greiffenklau from 1750 to 1753. Returning to Venice, Tiepolo became president of the Venetian academy in 1755, before going to Madrid in 1762 to work for Charles 111. With his death the great tradition of Venetian decorative painting came to an end.