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Mens' heads

Popularization note

The drawing by Giambattista Tiepolo shows two heads of ascetic older men. The bald man's head, facing sideways, is shown from above, while that of the man in a veil, facing straight ahead, is depicted from below. This sketch clearly shows the influence of Rembrandt's - one of the most eminent Dutch artists - paintings on Giambattista's work. It is unequivocally confirmed by one of Giambattista Tiepolo's disciples that noted outright that Rembrandt's works inspired his master. Georg Knox, an English researcher on the work of the Tiepolo family's members, established that the sketch was a preparatory drawing for the altar painting The Assumption of the Virgin, painted between 1751 and 1753 in the chapel of the Bishop's residence in Würzburg. It was used to depict the heads of the older men visible in the background to the left of Mary's tomb. There are some differences between the drawing and painting, which indicate that the motifs were carefully worked out in the final work. For example, the man's head shown on the left of the sketch has been rejuvenated in the painting. The artist had already worked on this detail. Knox found the detailed drawing in the Museum of Art in Princeton. The sketch kept in Szczecin, one of 36 drawings of the Tiepolo family in the Cabinet of Graphic Arts of the National Museum (Muzeum Narodowe), is performed in sanguine and in white crayon on blue Venetian paper.

Ewa Gwiazdowska

Information about the object

Information about this object

Other names

Heads of two old men

Author / creator

Greiffenclau zu Vollrads, Carl Philipp von (1690-1754) (fundator); Tiepolo, Giambattista (1696-1770) (rysownik)


cały obiekt: height: 177 mm, width: 246 mm

Object type


Creation time / dating

około 1751

Creation / finding place

powstanie: Würzburg (Niemcy)

Identification number


Location / status

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