Tiepolo in Milan: The Lost Frescoes of Palazzo Archinto at The Frick Collection, April 16 – July 14, 2019

“The Frick Collection presents paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs related to Giambattista Tiepolo’s (1696–1770) first significant project outside of Venice, a series of ceiling frescoes painted in 1730–31 for Palazzo Archinto in Milan. Commissioned by Count Carlo Archinto, one of the city’s most influential patrons and intellectuals, the frescoes were tragically destroyed when the palazzo was bombed by the Allies during World War II. Tiepolo in Milan: The Lost Frescoes of Palazzo Archinto brings together more than fifty works from collections in the United States and Europe to tell the story of this important commission. Five preparatory paintings and drawings are featured, among them the oil sketch Perseus and Andromeda, acquired by Henry Clay Frick in 1916. As the Frick does not loan objects purchased by the institution’s founder, the New York museum is the only place where these works can be displayed together. Several complementary drawings and books illustrated by Tiepolo are included, alongside documentary photographs, taken between 1897 and the early 1940s, which are the only surviving records of the finished frescoes.” — The Frick Collection

Giambattista Tiepolo. Perseus and Andromeda, ca. 1730–31. Oil on canvas, 20 3/8 × 16 inches.The Frick Collection, New York. Photo: Michael Bodycomb

Giambattista Tiepolo. Perseus and Andromeda, ca. 1730–31, from Attilio Centelli and Gerardo Molfese, Gli affreschi di G.B. Tiepolo… (Turin, 1897) Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli, Milan. Photo: Su autorizzazione dell’Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli di Milano

Giambattista Tiepolo. Triumph of the Arts and Sciences, ca. 1730–31. Oil on canvas, 21 7/8 × 28 3/8 inches. Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon. Photo: © Direção-Geral do Património Cultural / Arquivo de Documentação Fotográfica (DGPC/ADF) / photo Luisa Oliveira

Giambattista Tiepolo. Triumph of the Arts and Sciences (detail), ca. 1730–31 (destroyed 1943). Archival photograph, 1940. 6 3/4 x 4 3/8 inches Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli, Milan. Photo: Su autorizzazione dell’Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli di Milano

Giambattista Tiepolo. Study of Four Female Figures, ca. 1730–31. Pen, brown ink, and black chalk on white paper, 11 3/8 × 13 3/8 inches. Civico Museo Sartorio, Trieste

Giambattista Tiepolo. Apollo and Phaëton, ca. 1730–31. Oil on canvas, 25 1/4 × 18 3/4 inches. Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Gift of The Ahmanson Foundation

Francesco Zucchi after Giambattista Tiepolo. Triumph of a Roman Emperor, from Carlo Sigonio, Opera Omnia (Milan, 1732–37). Columbia University Libraries, Columbia University in the City of New York

Giambattista Tiepolo. Triumph of a Roman Emperor, 1730–31. Black chalk reworked with traces of red chalk on white paper, 4 3/8 x 7 1/2 inches. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1959. Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art / Art Resource, NY

Francesco Zucchi after Giambattista Tiepolo. The Coronation of Henry VII in Milan in 1311, from Ludovico Antonio Muratori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores (Milan, 1723–51). Columbia University Libraries, Columbia University in the City of New York

Giambattista Tiepolo. The Coronation of Henry VII in Milan in 1311, ca. 1725–30. Black chalk on white paper, 3 × 6 1/8 inches. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1959. Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art / Art Resource, NY

Vincenzo Aragozzini. Facade of Palazzo Archinto, 1934. Photograph, 11 3/8 x 9 1/8 inches. Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli, Milan. Photo: Su autorizzazione dell’Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli di Milano

Vincenzo Aragozzini. View of the courtyards of Palazzo Archinto, 1934. Photograph, 9 1/8 x 11 3/8 inches. Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli, Milan. Photo: Su autorizzazione dell’Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli di Milano

Unknown photographer. Palazzo Archinto after bombing in August 1943, 1948. Photograph, 6 7/8 x 9 1/4 inches. Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli, Milan. Photo: Su autorizzazione dell’Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli di Milano

Antonio Paoletti. Palazzo Archinto after bombing in August 1943; interior spaces, 1945. Photograph, 9 1/4 x 6 7/8 inches. Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli, Milan. Photo: Su autorizzazione dell’Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli di Milano

The exhibition is organized by The Frick Collection in collaboration with the Azienda di Servizi alla Persona Golgi-Redaelli, Milan, and curated by Xavier F. Salomon, the Frick’s Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator, with Andrea Tomezzoli, Professor at the University of Padua, and Denis Ton, Curator of the Musei Civici in Belluno.

Comments Salomon, “At a moment in history when wars are destroying art and culture in many parts of the world, it is worth pausing to consider, through an exhibition like this, the tragic, irreparable effects caused by violence throughout the centuries on great works of human creativity.” 

Images courtesy The Frick Collection.