© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Gallery Text

This bozzetto, or preparatory sketch, was part of Tiepolo’s designs for the fresco ceiling of the Guard Room in the Royal Palace in Madrid, which was executed by his large workshop. The artist excelled at manipulating perspective and color to create dramatic compositions in which space seemingly recedes toward infinity. Here he combines two events derived from Virgil’s Aeneid. The first is the promised deification of the Trojan hero Aeneas, who is depicted in red rising to the Temple of Immortality, accompanied by winged personifications of Victory and Justice. The second is the appearance of his mother, Venus, who is clad in white at the upper right of the painting. Along with the Graces, she presents Aeneas with arms forged by her lover Vulcan, who supervises their making below. Tiepolo gradually lessened his use of earthly reds from the bottom to the top of the composition, which exaggerates its dramatic effects.

Identification and Creation
Object Number
1949.76
People
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Italian (Venice, Italy 1696 - 1770 Madrid, Spain)
Title
The Apotheosis of Aeneas
Classification
Paintings
Work Type
painting
Date
c. 1765
Places
Creation Place: Europe, Italy, Veneto, Venice
Culture
Italian
Location
Level 2, Room 2220, European and American Art, 17th–19th century, Rococo and Neoclassicism in the Eighteenth Century
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Physical Descriptions
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
72.2 x 51.1 cm (28 7/16 x 20 1/8 in.)
framed: 99.7 x 73.7 x 5.1 cm (39 1/4 x 29 x 2 in.)
Provenance
Jean-Baptiste-Pierre Le Brun, Paris, 1809. Possibly de Beuronville, Paris. Charles Fairfax Murray, London, by 1909. [1] Marczell von Nemes, Budapest and Munich, sold [through his sale, Mensing & Sons, Paul Cassirer, and Hugo Helbing, June 16, 1931, lot no. 40]. [Jacques Goudstikker, Amsterdam]. [2] Baron Mór Lipót Herzog (Moritz L. Herzog), Budapest, by descent; to his wife, Johanna Herzog de Csete, Budapest, 1934, by descent; to their children (probably his son, István Herzog, Budapest), 1940, confiscated and transferred; to Germany, circa 1944-1945, [3] returned; to Hungary, 1946, returned; to Mme István Herzog (née Ilona Kiss) via Dr. Emil Oppler, a family friend and lawyer. [4] [Julius Weitzner, New York], sold; to Fogg Art Museum, 1949

Notes
[1] Photographed by Braun & Co., 1909
[2] Red wax seal on verso identified as that of Goudstikker. See “Giambattista Tiepolo: Master of the Oil Sketch” (1993).
[3] The Baron Herzog collection was confiscated before 1944.
[4] See “The ‘Sacco di Budapest:’ Depredation of Hungary, 1938-1949” (1998).
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Allston Burr Bequest Fund
Accession Year
1949
Object Number
1949.76
Division
European and American Art
Contact
am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu
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Descriptions

Label Text: The Persistence of Memory: Continuity and Change in American Cultures , written 1995
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo was the leading eighteenth-century exponent of the seventeenth-century tradition of large-scale illusionistic mural painting. This bozzetto, or preparatory sketch, was created in connection with his great fresco ceiling decoration for the Sala de Guardas at the new Royal Palace in Madrid for King Charles III (1716-1788) in 1766. The artist has conflated several incidents derived from Virgil's Aeneid. These include, first, Jupiter's promise conveyed by Mercury to Venus that her son, Aeneas, will be deified (represented by his apotheosis to the Temple of Immortality accompanied by personifications of winged Victory and Justice, watched by the scythe-bearing Chronos); and, second, the appearance of Venus (here accompanied by the Graces) to Aeneas in order to present him with the arms forged by her lover Vulcan, depicted supervising the task at his forge below. Tiepolo's religious and secular murals influenced American mural painters such as John Singer Sargent, who emulated his dramatic manipulations of perspective and foreshortening.

Label Text: Re-View: S424-426 Western Art from 1560 to 1900 , written 2008
This sketch was part of Tiepolo's workshop process for defining the composition for the ceiling of the Guard Room in the Royal Palace, Madrid. It conflates two incidents derived from Virgil's Aeneid. The first is Jupiter's promise, conveyed by Mercury to Venus, that her son, the Trojan hero Aeneas, would be deified. This is represented by his apotheosis to the Temple of Immortality, accompanied by personifications of winged Victory and Justice and watched by the scythe-bearing Chronos. The second incident is the appearance of Venus, here accompanied by the Graces, to present Aeneas with arms forged by her lover, Vulcan, who is depicted supervising their making at his forge below.

Publication History

Sammlung Marczell von Nemes: Gemälde, Textilien, Skulpturen, Kunstgewerbe, auct. cat., Mensing and Sons, Paul Cassirer, and Hugo Helbing (Munich, 1931), pp. 36-37, lot no. 40, repr. as Tafel 18

Exhibition of Old Masters in Hungarian Private Collections, exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest (Budapest, 1946), p. 21, cat. no. 94

Jakob Rosenberg, "An Oil Sketch by G. B. Tiepolo for the Aeneas Ceiling in Madrid", Bulletin of the Fogg Art Museum (March 1950), Vol. 11, No. 2, pp. 53-61, repr. as plate 1, 3, 4, and 5

Giulio Lorenzetti, Mostra del Tiepolo: Catalogo Ufficiale, exh. cat., Alfieri Editore (Venice, 1951), pp. 127, 129, cat. no. 97, repr. p. 127

Flight: Fantasy, Faith, Fact. A Loan Exhibition Commemorating the Fiftieth Anniversary of Powered Flight 1903-1953, exh. cat., Dayton Art Institute (Dayton, OH, 1953), p. 11, cat. no. 62 as "Introduction of Aeneas to Temple of Immortality

F. J. Sanchez Canton, J. B. Tiepolo en España, Instituto Diego Velazquez (Madrid, 1953), repr. as lam. 2, 4 (detail), and 5 (detail)

Antonio Morassi, G. B. Tiepolo: His Life and Work, Phaidon Publishers (London, 1955), p. 36

William Hayes Ackland Memorial Art Center, Paintings, Drawings, Prints and Sculpture from American College and University Collections: Inaugural Exhibition, exh. cat. (Chapel Hill, NC, 1958), cat. no. 54

The Age of Elegance: The Rococo and its Effect, exh. cat., Baltimore Museum of Art (Baltimore, MD, 1959), pp. 23, 55, 59, cat. no. 205, repr. p. 59

"Formal Opening of 'The Arts of Man'", Dallas Museum of Fine Arts Newsletter (Dallas, October 1962), repr.

A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings of G. B. Tiepolo: Including Pictures by His Pupils and Followers Wrongly Attributed to Him, checklist, Phaidon Press Limited (London, 1962), p. 8, repr. as fig. 60

Francis Watson, "G. B. Tiepolo: Pioneer of Modernism", Apollo (March 1963), pp. 244-248, p. 247

Highlights from the Collections of the Fogg Museum and Harvard Alumni of St. Louis, exh. cat., City Art Museum of St. Louis (St. Louis, MO, 1964), cat. 62

Masters of the Loaded Brush: Oil Sketches from Rubens to Tiepolo, exh. cat., Columbia University Dept. of Art History and Archaeology and M. Knoedler & Co. (New York, 1967), pp. 57-58, cat. no. 43, repr. as plate 43

Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture from the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, exh. cat., Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, CT, 1967)

Winifred Friedman, "A Tiepolo Attribution Problem", Fogg Art Museum Acquisitions, 1968 (Cambridge, MA, 1969), pp. 52-64, repr. p. 53 as fig. 1

Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri, Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA, 1972), p. 196

James N. Carpenter, Color in Art: A Tribute to Arthur Pope, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1974), p. 90, cat. 46, ill.

Sydney J. Freedberg, "Lorenzo Lotto to Nicolas Poussin", Apollo (May 1978), vol. 107, no. 195, pp. 389-397, p. 396, repr. p. 394 as fig. 13

Kristin A. Mortimer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums/Abbeville Press (Cambridge, MA; New York, NY, 1985), no. 182, p. 160, repr.

Michael Levey, Giambattista Tiepolo, His Life and Art, Yale University Press (U.S.) (New Haven, CT, 1986), pp. 265-266, repr. as pl. 223 [mistakenly listed as MFA Boston]

Edgar Peters Bowron, European Paintings Before 1900 in the Fogg Art Museum: A Summary Catalogue including Paintings in the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1990), p. 58, color plate; pp. 131, 361, repr. b/w cat. no. 785

Catherine Rogers, "Giovanni Battista Tiepolo's The Apotheosis of Aeneas: Technical Examination and Conservation" (thesis (certificate in conservation), Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, 1992), Unpublished, pp. 1-11 passim

Catherine Whistler, "[Review] Fort Worth, Tiepolo Oil Sketches", The Burlington Magazine (December 1993), Vol. 135, No. 1089 pp. 857- 859, p. 859, repr. as fig. 102

George Knox, "[Review] Giambattista Tiepolo at Fort Worth", Apollo (December 1993), p. 403

Beverly Louise Brown, Giambattista Tiepolo: Master of the Oil Sketch, exh. cat., Abbeville Press (New York, 1993), pp. 313-317, cat. no. 58, repr. p. 313, 315

Ronda Kasl and Suzanne L. Stratton, Painting in Spain in the Age of Enlightenment: Goya and his Contemporaries, exh. cat., Indianapolis Museum of Art (Indianapolis, IN, 1997), pp. 163-7, repr. in color p. 78

László Mravik, The "Sacco di Budapest": Depredation of Hungary, 1938-1949, Hungarian National Gallery (Budapest, 1998), pp. 312-313, cat. no. 19849, repr. p. 212

Peter Stephan, Im Glanz der Majestät des Reiches: Tiepolo und die Würzburger Residenz: die Reichsidee der Schönborn und die politische Ikonologie des Barock, A. H. Konrad (Weissenhorn, Germany, 2002), repr. as fig. 77

Andrés Úbeda de los Cobos, The Artist at Court: Giandomenico Tiepolo and his Fantasy Portraits, exh. cat., Banca March (Madrid, 2014), pp. 34, 37-38, fig. 18

Exhibition History

Exhibition of Old Masters in Hungarian Private Collections, Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, 01/01/1946 - 01/01/1946

Mostra del Tiepolo, Ca' Rezzonico, 06/16/1951 - 10/07/1951

Flight: Fantasy, Faith, Fact. A Loan Exhibition Commemorating the Fiftieth Anniversary of Powered Flight 1903-1953, Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, 12/17/1953 - 02/21/1954

Masterpieces of 17th & 18th Centuries, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, 10/02/1957 - 11/03/1957

Inaugural Exhibition, William Hayes Ackland Memorial Art Center, Chapel Hill, 09/20/1958 - 10/20/1958

The Age of Elegance: The Rococo and its Effect, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, 04/25/1959 - 06/14/1959

Baroque Oil Sketches, Knoedler & Co. Inc., New York, 04/04/1967 - 04/29/1967

Masters of the Loaded Brush: Oil Sketches from Rubens to Tiepolo, M. Knoedler & Co., 04/04/1967 - 04/29/1967

Paintings, Drawings, Sculpture from the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, 10/12/1967 - 12/03/1967

Color in Art: A Tribute to Arthur Pope, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/25/1974 - 06/16/1974

Master Paintings from the Fogg Collection, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/13/1977 - 08/31/1977

Tiepolos in America, Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, 01/08/1978 - 02/19/1978; Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, Springfield, 03/19/1978 - 05/07/1978

Masterpieces of European Art, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, 06/22/1985 - 09/15/1985

Tiepolo in Madrid: The Fogg "Aeneas" Sketch Investigated, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 06/06/1992 - 08/30/1992

Giambattista Tiepolo: Master of the Oil Sketch, Kimbell Art Museum, 09/18/1993 - 12/12/1993

The Persistence of Memory: Continuity and Change in American Cultures, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 07/29/1995 - 05/13/2001

Calming the Tempest with Peter Paul Rubens, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, 12/22/2001 - 03/17/2002

Re-View: S424-426 Western Art from 1560 to 1900, Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, 08/16/2008 - 06/18/2011

32Q: 2220 18th-19th Century, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/01/2014

Subjects and Contexts

Google Art Project

Related Works

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of European and American Art at am_europeanamerican@harvard.edu