Tuesday, February 5, 2019
01 Works, RELIGIOUS ART - Today, February 4rd, is Saint Joseph of Leonessa's Day, With Footnotes - 34
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696–1770)
Saint Fidelis of Sigmarigen and Saint Joseph of Leonessa, between 1752 and 1758
Galleria nazionale di Parma
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, 1696 - 1770. Born into a wealthy and noble family in Venice, Giambattista Tiepolo was recognized by contemporaries throughout Europe as the greatest painter of large-scale decorative frescoes in the 1700s. He was admired for having brought fresco painting to new heights of technical virtuosity, illumination, and dramatic effect. Tiepolo possessed an imagination characterized by one of his contemporaries as "all spirit and fire."
A gifted storyteller, Tiepolo painted walls and ceilings with large, expansive scenes of intoxicating enchantment. In breath-taking visions of mythology and religion, the gods and saints inhabit light-filled skies. His ability to assimilate his predecessor and compatriot Paolo Veronese's use of color was so profound that his contemporaries named him Veronese redivio (a new Veronese).
Tiepolo's commissions came from the old established families of Italy, religious orders, and the royal houses of Spain, Germany, Sweden, and Russia. His frescoes adorn palaces, churches, and villas, and his artistic legacy consists of some eight hundred paintings, 2,400 drawings, two sets of etchings, and acres of fresco. When Tiepolo died at the age of seventy-four, a Venetian diarist noted the "bitter loss" of "the most famous Venetian painter, truly the most renowned...well known in Europe and the most highly praised in his native land." More on Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
It is said that from a young age he showed a remarkably religious bent of mind; he used to erect little altars and spend much time in prayer before them, and often he would gather his companions and induce them to pray with him. In his sixteenth year he joined the Capuchin reform of the Franciscan Order. He made his novitiate at the friary of the Carcerelle near Assisi.
In 1587 he was sent to Constantinople to minister to the Christians held captive there. He and his companions lodged in the Galata district in a derelict house of Benedictine monks. The poverty in which the friars lived attracted the attention of the Turks, who went in numbers to see the new missionaries. He was very solicitous in ministering to the captive Christians in the galleys of the Ottoman Empire's navy. Every day he went into the city to preach, and he was at length thrown into prison and only released at the intervention of the Venetian agent.
Urged on by zeal he at last sought to enter the palace to preach before Sultan Murad III, but he was seized and condemned to death. For three days he hung on the gallows, held up by two hooks driven through his right hand and foot; his legends state that he was then miraculously released by an angel.
Returning to Italy, he took with him a Greek archbishop who had apostatized, and who was reconciled to the Church on their arrival in Rome. Joseph now took up the work of home missions in his native province. In the Jubilee year of 1600 he gave the Lenten sermons at Otricoli, a town through which crowds of pilgrims passed on their way to Rome. Joseph supplied them with food; he also washed their clothes and cut their hair.
He died at Amatrice in 1612. More on Saint Joseph of Leonessa
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