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Head of bearded old man

Popularization note

Giambattista Tiepolo depicted a head of an older man immersed in his thoughts from above as if peeping at him in some intimate situation. The sketch radiates an aura of mystery. The man in a large veil is turned to the side, concentrated, as evidenced by his gaze and tightened facial features. He is taking part in a significant historical event. The drawing was used to paint the figure of the older man in the scene in the main foreground. The Family of Darius before Alexander, a fresco painted in the Villa Cordellina in Montecchio Maggiore in 1744. The slight differences in the inclination of the figure's head in the sketch and the fresco confirm that the drawing preceded the work on the wall composition.The historical scene to which the sketch was related recounts an episode in the life of Alexander of Macedon, known as the Great, an all-Hellenic leader who throughout his life expanded his state borders and consolidated his influence in the conquered territories. He ruled in Macedonia and Greece, in Egypt and in the countries of Asia Minor. Among other things, he fought against Persia. At the great battle of Issus in 333, he defeated the proud Persian king Darius III. The scene in which Darius and his family ask Alexander for mercy was the subject of works of art often taken up by painters.The sketch was drawn with black and white crayons on thin blue Venetian paper with an illegible watermark. On the verso (the reverse side of the sheet of paper), Giambattista made in black crayon the figures of the Madonna and Child with the kneeling king - a preliminary drawing for his work on the composition Adoration of the Magi. It comes from the collection of the Venetian Tiepolo family’s works, which after numerous perturbations, is now in the collection of the National Museum (Muzeum Narodowe) in Szczecin.

Ewa Gwiazdowska

Information about the object

Information about this object

Author / creator

Tiepolo, Giambattista (1696-1770) (rysownik)
Cordellina, Carlo (?-17..) (fundator)


cały obiekt: height: 231 mm, width: 156 mm

Object type


Creation time / dating

1743 — 1744

Creation / finding place

powstanie: Wenecja (Włochy)

Identification number


Location / status

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