The National Museum of Western Art

update 03 July 2017

on display Permanent Collection

Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo [Venice, 1727 - Venice, 1804]

Madonna and Child with Three Saints

Datec. 1759-62
Materials/Techniquesoil on canvas
Size (cm)135 x 77.8
Credit LinePurchased
Collection NumberP.1987-0004
Madonna and Child with Three Saints

This work depicting the Madonna and Child accompanied by three saints is a typical altarpiece by Domenico Tiepolo based on a composition of his father, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. The work was definitively attributed to Domenico in 1971 by A. Morassi. The saint kneeling in the front in black robes is St. Francis of Paola, Vicente Ferrer stands on his right and it is suggested that St. Gaetano of Tiene (?) stands behind the Madonna and Child. Backed by classical architectural motifs and surrounded by saints and supporting figures, the Madonna and Child look down from a high throne. This traditional composition began in the 16th century with Titian and was continued by such Venetian painters as Veronese and Tiepolo. The individual motifs drawn from several of Battista's works, including the work that Domenico made into a print, The Madonna and Child with Two Saints (Upton House, Banbury), are skillfully arranged in a stable composition. While this work lacks the strong spatial sense found in the architectural motifs in similar works by Battista, the color scheme and the sculptural quality of the objects and their sense of depth reflect Domenico's steady hand. The brushwork is not facile, rather the quick broad strokes convey only the general sense of the clothing. It is not clear when or for whom this work was created, but information gleaned from the work's provenance, the selection of saints, and related works by Domenico's father indicate that this work was probably created for a Venetian or Veneto area patron during the period of 1753-62 after Domenico returned from Würzburg and before he departed for Madrid. (Source: Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo, 2009, cat. no.49)


Purchased in Venice by Prince Pierre d'Arenberg; Presented by him to Comtesse Greffulhe, born de la Rochefoucauld; By bequest to her son-in-law, Prince Auguste d'Arenberg, by 1911 (according to an inscription dated Aug. 24, 1911, formerly attached on the back of the canvas); Prince d'Arenberg, Paris; Wildenstein & Co.; Purchased by the NMWA, 1988.

Exhibition History

Venise au dix-huitième siècle: peintures, dessins et gravures des collections françaises, Orangerie des Tuileries, Paris, 1971 - 1971, cat. no. 292, repr.
The Crossing Visions: European and Modern Japanese Art from the Collections of The National Museum of Western Art & The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, 20 July 1996 - 8 September 1996, cat. no. 77


Pallucchini, Rodolfo. Il settecento veneziano all'Orangerie. Arte Veneta. vol. 25, 1971, p. 329.
Masterpieces of the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art, 1989 (Japanese, preface in Japanese and English), no. 36, repr.
Koshikawa, Michiaki. The Dating of the Newly Acquired Madonna and Child with Three Saints by Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo. Annual bulletin of the National Museum of Western Art. Nos. 21-22 (1987-88), 1990, pp. 203-216, Catalogue of the New Acquisitions 1986-87. pp. 34, 36-37, repr.
Catalogue of painting acquisitions: 1979-1989. Tokyo, The National Museum of Western Art, 1990, pp.73-74, repr.
Masterpieces: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. Tokyo, The Western Art Foundation, 2013 (Japanese, preface in Japanese and English), no. 61, col. repr.

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