Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Italian (Venice, Italy 1696 - 1770 Madrid, Spain)
Head of a Bearded Man with a Soft Jewelled Cap; verso: Partial Head Studies
Work Type
c. 1753-1762
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Brown ink and brown wash over black chalk on cream antique laid paper adhered to cream card; verso: black chalk
25.3 x 18.9 cm (9 15/16 x 7 7/16 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • watermark: BF below star
Given by the artist to the Library of the Somasco Convent, Santa Maria della Salute, Venice; Count Leopoldo Cicognara; Antonio Canova; Monsignor Giovanni Battista Sartori-Canova; Francesco Pesaro; Edward Cheney, Badger Hall, Shropshire (by 1842); by descent to his nephew, Alfred Capel-Cure, Blake Hall, Essex; sale, Sotheby's, April 29, 1885, part of lot 1024; Parsons, dealer, London; Earl of Ranfurly; P. & D. Colnaghi, London; Richard Owen; Savile Gallery; Contini Collection; Héli, duc de Talleyrand-Périgord; his family, by descent; sale, Christie's, New York, January 23, 2002, lot 44; Jeffrey Horvitz, acquired at the sale; gift to Harvard Art Museum, 2008
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Jeffrey E. Horvitz
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art
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This drawing belongs to Giambattista's celebrated series of head studies, many of which were translated into etchings by his son, Gian Domenico, and published in the "Raccolta di teste" of 1773-74. The distinguished Tiepolo scholar, Bernard Aikema, has dated this group of Giambattista's drawings between 1753 and 1762. The rapid strokes of the pen, the dramatic juxtapositions of the wash and the white of the sheet, and the fresh condition of most of these studies has made this series of drawings among the most admired and sought after examples of Giambattista's works.
Publication History

Antonio Morassi, Dessins vénitiens du dix-huitième siècle de la collection du duc de Talleyrand, D. Guarnati (Milan, 1958), no. 22, repr.

Julien Stock, Disegni veneti di collezioni inglesi, exh. cat., Neri Pozza Editore (Venice, 1980), cat. no. 81, repr.

Exhibition History

Disegni veneti di collezioni inglesi, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, 01/01/1980 - 12/31/1980

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