Giambattista Pittoni

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Giambattista Pittoni
Pittoni Bacchus and Ariadne.jpg
Born Giovanni Battista Pittoni
(1687-06-06)June 6, 1687
Venice, Republic of Venice (present-day Italy)
Died November 6, 1767(1767-11-06)
Known for painting
Notable work(s) Sacred families and childs
Style late-Baroque or Rococo

Giambattista Pittoni or Giovanni Battista Pittoni (6 June 1687 – 6 November 1767) was an Italian painter of the late-Baroque or Rococo period, active mainly in his native Venice.


Pittoni was born in Venice, and studied painting under his uncle Francesco Pittoni and Antonio Balestra. Little is known of his early career. He entered the Venetian painters' guild in 1716. In 1722-1723, he was commissioned to paint "The Torture of St Thomas' for San Stae in Venice, which also contains one if his later works in its sacristy. He also completed the transit of Santa Maria in Organo in Verona in 1725. In 1727, he was appointed honorary Academician of the Accademia Clementina in Bologna. In subsequent years, Pittoni never left his native Venice, but completed a number of important and lucrative commissions from German, Polish, Russian, Italian and Austrian patrons, including "The Sacrifice of Jephthah's daughter" for the Royal Palace of Turin, a number of works for the Marshal von Schulenburg, and a "Martyrdom of St Batholomew" for the Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua. Pittoni came to be known for his "grand-manner" canvases depicting religious, historical, and mythological subjects (such as Sophonisba and Polyxena).

Giambattista Pittoni, The Vision of Saint Anthony of Padua

By 1740, Pittoni established a studio and residence in the San Giacomo district of Venice, and took on numerous apprentices, including Francesco Busti. Pittoni died at age 80 on 6 November 1767 in Venice. His tomb is at the church of San Giacomo dall'Orio.

Pittoni was a co-founder of the official painter's academy in Venice (in competition to the old fraglia or painter's guild), the Accademia di Belle Arti di Venezia, and he succeeded as President (1758–1761) his contemporary Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. He was also affected by the work of Piazzetta, and of Tiepolo, who was a younger contemporary. His mature palette was noted, as was Tiepolo's, for his lightness of tone. Besides Giambattista Tiepolo, Pittoni's influences were Piazzetta, Sebastiano Ricci, and Antonio Balestra. His paintings were of a Rococo style, but later became more sedate in their approach towards Neoclassicism.


Uffizi Museum, Florence; Louvre Museum, Paris; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City; Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan; National Gallery, London, UK; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Southampton City Art Gallery, England; Art Institute of Chicago; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK; São Paulo Museum of Modern Art, San Paolo, Brazil; Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, UK; Kress Foundation Collection; Newhouse Galleries of New York; Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne; Gemäldegalerie, Berlin; Christchurch Art Gallery, New Zealand; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; National Gallery of Victoria, Australia; New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester; Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; Musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux, France; Ca' Rezzonico, Museo del Settecento Veneziano, Venice; Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna; Courtauld Institute of Art, London (United Kingdom); National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh; Nationalmuseum, Stockholm; Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio; Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid; National Museum, Warsaw, Polond; Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota; Pinacoteca Civica di Vicenza, Italy; Pinacoteca dell'Accademia dei Concordi, Rovigo, Italy; The Walters Art Museum, Maryland; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimora (Maryland); J.B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville (Kentucky); Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; Prague Castle Gallery, Prague; Kunsthalle Hamburg, Hamburg; Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice; Museo Sartorio, Trieste; York Art Gallery, York; Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis (Missouri); Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City (Missouri); Portland Art Museum, Portland (Oregon); Moratilla, Paris; Oranienbaum, Russia, China Palace.


The artist never signed or dated the works.

  • In the Louvre Museum of Paris:
    • Jésus-Christ donnant les clefs du paradis à saint Pierre
    • La Continence de Scipion (1733-1735).
    • Suzanne et les vieillards (1723-1725).
    • Tombeau allégorique de l'archevêque John Tillotson (1630-1694) (1726-1727).
    • Bacchus et Ariane (1720-1725).
    • Mars et Vénus (1720-1725).
    • Polyxène sacrifiée aux mannes d'Achille.
    • Didon fonde Carthage.



  • Katharine Baetjer, European Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born Before 1865, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1995
  • Ian Chilvers, The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists, Oxford University Press, Oxford, Uk, 2009
  • Jane Turner, The Dictionary of Art. 25, pp. 1-4. New York, Grove, 1996. ISBN 1-884446-00-0
  • F.Z. Boccazzi, Pittoni, Venice, 1979, pp. 138, 148 and 156, no. 96, fig. 376.
  • Franca Zava Boccazzi, Giambattista Pittoni, 1979
  • Annalisa Perissa Torrini, Disegni di Giovan Battista Pittoni, Electa, 1998
  • Giovanni Battista Pittoni (l'Ancien), Lodovico Dolce, Di Battista Pittoni pittore vicentino anno MDLXVIII Imprese di diuersi prencipi, duchi, signori, e d'altri personaggi et huomini letterati et illustri, 1568
  • Katharine Baetjer , J.G. Links, Canaletto, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1989
  • M. Goering, G. B. Pittoni, Florence, 19
  • L. Goggiola, Pittoni artisti veneti, Bergamo 1907
  • R. Pallucchini, I disegni di G. B. Pittoni, Padova 1945
  • Franca Zava Boccazzi: Pittoni: L'opera completa. Venedig 1979
  • Alice Binion: I disegni di Giambattista Pittoni. Florence, La Nuova Italia 1983
  • H. Voss, Artikel Pittoni in Thieme, Becker Künstlerlexikon, XXVII, Lipsia 1933 (con ampia bibl.)
  • Rudolf Wittkower, Art and Architecture in Italy, 1600-1750, 1980, Pelican History of Art (Penguin Books Ltd)
  • M. Goering, Zur Kritik u. Datierung d. Werke ds G. B. P., in Mitt. d. kunstl Inst. in Florenz, IV (1934), pp. 201-48.34
  • Per la ricostruzione dell'opera di G. P., Rass. d'arte, XII (1912), pp. 20-27, 139-44
  • L'arte di G. P. in una serie di opere di lui, ibid., XIV (1914), pp. 169-81
  • G. B. P., Firenze 1921
  • Riv. della città di Venezia, 1927
  • Dedalo, VIII (1927-28), pp. 671-95
  • Pseudo influenza francese nell'arte di G. B. P., in Riv. d. Venezia, XII (1933), pp. 399-412 (con elenco completo delle opere e completa bibl.)
  • Altre opere inedite rivendicate o poco note di G. B. P., Venezia 1933 (con 43 illustr.)
  • Disegni inediti di G. B. P., in Riv. di Venezia, XIII (1934), pp. 263-90; G. Fogolari, in Boll. d'arte, 1907, p. 6 segg.; id., in Emporium, XXXVII (1913), pp. 222-27
  • In Arte sacra, 1914; id., in Strenna, 1924-25
  • G. Fiocco, in Riv. della città di Venezia, 1925, 1929
  • La pittura veneta del Sei e Settecento, Verona 1929
  • Francesco Maccarinelli, Le Glorie di Brescia raccolte dalle Pitture, Che nelle sue Chiese, Oratorii, Palazzi et altri luoghi publici sono esposte, Brescia 1747
  • Pier Virgilio Begni Redona, Pitture e sculture in San Nazaro e Celso in AA.VV., La collegiata insigne dei Santi Nazaro e Celso in Brescia, Editrice la Scuola, Brescia 1992


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