Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo

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Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo
Scene of Contemporary Life: A Session of the Magistrates
Pen and brown ink and black watercolor over black chalk.
11 3/8 x 16 3/16 inches (288 x 413 mm)
Thaw Collection.

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Signed and dated in pen and brown ink on pillar at right: "Dom. Tiepolo / 1791".
Watermark: Three crescents in descending size, over letters "SOTO IMPERIAL" (cf. Heawood 867).

Alfred Beurdeley, Paris; his sale, Paris (Rahir), 31 May 1920, part of lot 170; Robert Goelet; sale, London, Sotheby's, 6 July 1967, no. 51, repr.; Norton Simon, Inc., Museum of Art , Los Angeles; Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw, New York.

The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, NY, "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection", 2017. Exh. cat., no. 377, repr.
Stampfle, Felice, and Cara D. Denison. Drawings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene V. Thaw. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1975, no. 59.


Domenico Tiepolo's celebrated Scenes of Contemporary Life furnish an extraordinary view of late eighteenth-century Venice: its trades and professions, its street life, its fashions and amusements. Here, the legal problem to which the five aristocratic magistrates are applying themselves is not immediately apparent; their attention seems to be directed on the lowly monk standing before them. The motley crowd at the left appears to await their turn in court in the company of their bewigged legal representatives, one of whom takes a pinch of snuff to pass the time. -- Exhibition Label, from "Drawn to Greatness: Master Drawings from the Thaw Collection"

Associated names: 

Beurdeley, Alfred, 1847-1919, former owner.
Goelet, Robert, 1880- former owner.
Thaw, Eugene Victor, former owner.
Thaw, Clare, former owner.