Giambattista Pittoni

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Giambattista Pittoni
Pittoni Bacchus and Ariadne.jpg
Born Giovan 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 Sacred families and childs
Style Venetian School, late-Baroque or Rococo

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

Giovan Battista Pittoni, together with Giovan Battista Tiepolo, Canaletto, Giovan Battista Piazzetta, Giuseppe Maria Crespi and Francesco Guardi, forms the traditional great Old Masters painters of that period.

He was not very prolific, and worked not only in Italy. He was among the founders of the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice, and became its second president in 1758, succeeding Tiepolo.[1]


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 altarpiece depicting the Torture of St Thomas for the church of San Stae, which also contains one if his later works in its sacristy. He also completed the Glory of the Virgin for the church of Santa Maria in Organo in Verona in 1725. In 1727, he was appointed honorary Academic of the Accademia Clementina in Bologna.

In subsequent years, Pittoni never left his native Venice, but completed a number of important and lucrative commissions for German, Polish, Russian, Italian and Austrian patrons, including The Sacrifice of Jephthah's daughter for the Royal Palace of Turin, works for the Marshal von Schulenburg, and a Martyrdom of St Batholomew for the Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua.

Vision of Saint Anthony of Padua, San Diego Museum, California, United States of America
St. Joseph and Jesus, Oil on original canvas, 91 x 62.5 cm.
The Holy Family, oil on canvas, 32 1/8 x 25 3/8 in.

By 1740, Pittoni established a studio and residence in the San Giacomo district of Venice, and took on numerous apprentices, including Francesco Busti. 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 served as President during 1758–1761. Pittoni died at age 80 in Venice. His tomb is at the church of San Giacomo dall'Orio.

Pittoni came to be known for his "grand-manner" canvases depicting religious, historical, and mythological subjects. He was influenced by Piazetta, Sebastiano Ricci, Antonio Balestra, and Tiepolo, a younger contemporary. Pittoni's mature palette, like Tiepolo's, was notable for the light tones. His style emerged from a highly decorative Rococo style, but matured towards a more sober Neoclassicism.


Other museums with works by Pittoni include: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Louvre, Paris; Uffizi Gallery, Florence; National Gallery, London; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; Southampton City Art Gallery, UK; São Paulo Museum of Art, Brazil; Samuel Henry Kress Foundation Collection; Newhouse Galleries, New York; Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Colon; Gemäldegalerie Museum, Berlin; Christchurch Art Gallery, New Zealand; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; National Gallery of Victoria, Australia; New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester; Ca' Rezzonico - Museo del Settecento Veneziano, Venice; Kunsthistorisches Museum, Wien; Courtauld Institute, London, UK; Nationalmuseum, Stockholm; Ambrosiana, Milan; Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota; Walters Art Museum, Maryland; Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland; J.B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville (KY); Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; Galleria del Prague Castle, Prague; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg; Museo Sartorio, Trieste; York City Art Gallery, York, UK; Saint Louis Art Museum, St Louis, Missouri; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Museum Moratilla, Paris; Oranienbaum, Russia China Palace, Russia, Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, MNAC collection, Barcelona.

Selected paintings[2][edit]

Giovanni Pittoni major works were subject to religious and or childs scenes. Pittoni never signed or dated his paintings.[citation needed].

Title Date Location
Christ grants Keys of Paradise to Saint Peter Louvre Museum, Paris, France, Europe
The Continence of Scipio 1733-1735 Louvre Museum, Paris, France, Europe
Suzanne et les vieillards 1723-1725 Louvre Museum, Paris, France, Europe
Tombeau allégorique de l'archevêque John Tillotson 1630-1694 Louvre Museum, Paris, France, Europe
Bacchus and Ariadne 1720-1725 Louvre Museum, Paris, France, Europe
Mars and Venus 1720-1725 Louvre Museum, Paris, France, Europe
Sacrifice of Polyxena at the Tomb of Achilles Louvre Museum, Paris, France, Europe
Dido founds Carthage Louvre Museum, Paris, France, Europe
Holy family Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, United States
Susanna and the Elders 1720 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, United States
The Nativity with God the Father and the Holy Ghost (222.7x153.5cm) 1740 National Gallery, London, United Kingdom
Sacrifice of Polyxena (50 1/2 x 37 1/2 in.) 1733-1734 Getty Museum, Los Angeles, United States
Descent from the Cross 1750 Palace of Legion of Honor, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, United States
Vision of St Anthony of Padua (35 1/2 in. x 23 1/4 in.), 1730 San Diego Museum of Art, Balboa Park, California, United States
Finding of Moses 1730 Portland Art Museum, Oregon, United States
Saints Presenting a devout woman to Virgin and Child Cleveland Museum of Art, United States
Allegorical monument to the glory of Isaac Newton 1727-29 Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, United Kingdom, Europe
Sacrifice of Polyxena (129 x 94 cm) Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russian Federation
Death of Sophonisba (165 x 214 cm) Pushkin Museum, Moscow, Russia, Russian Federation
Bacco e Arianna Senate of the Italian Republic, Room Cavour of the Council of Ministers, Palazzo Madama, Rome, Italy
Miracle of the loaves and fishes (120.1x178.5 cm) 1725 National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
Christ and St Pierre Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, United Kingdom
St Jerome and Peter of Alcantara (275 x 143 cm) 1725 National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland, Europe
Death of Joseph (97 x 79 cm) 1725 Berggruen Museum in Charlottenburg Palace, National Gallery of Berlin, Germany, Europe
Madonna of Sorrows Museum Gemäldegalerie, Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, Berlin, Germany, Europe
Death of Agripina Dresden Gallery, Germany
Annunciation Museum Städel, Frankfurt am Main, Germany, Europe
Rest on the Flight into Egypt (108 x 135 cm), oil on canvas 1725 Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid, Spain, Europe
Martyrdom of Saint Clement. Sketch for Altar at Clemenskirche, Muenster Uppsala University Collection Museum, Universitet Konstsamling, Uppsala, Sweden, Europe
St Elizabeth Distributing Alms (72 x 43 cm), oil on canvas 1734 Szépmûvészeti Múzeum, Budapest, Hungary, Europe
St Roch (42 x 32 cm), oil on canvas 1727 Szépmûvészeti Múzeum, Budapest, Hungary, Europe
L'Ercole 1715-1730 Accademia dei Lincei, Palazzo Corsini, Rome, Italy, Europe
The Hercules 1715-1730 Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan, Italy, Europe
Annibale giura odio ai Romani 1720-1730 Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan, Italy, Europe
Adorazione dei Re Magi 1722-1724 Musée d'Art et d'Histoire , Geneva, Swiss
Morte di Agrippina 1715 Private Collections, Venice, Italy
Annuncio a San Giuseppe 1730-1750 Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis (MO), United States
San Prosdocimo battezza san Daniele 1720-1725 York City Art Gallery, New York, United States
Martirio di S.Bartolomeo 1734 Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City (MO), United States
Sacrificio di Polissena 1734 The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore (MD), United States
Sacrificio di Isacco 1734 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MA), United States
Sacrificio di Polissena 1750-1767 The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore (MD), United States
Antioco e Stratonice 1750-1767 Barnard Castle, The Bowes Museum, United Kingdom
Presentazione di Gesù al Tempio 1730-1734 Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore (MD), United States
Sacrificio di Isacco 1713-1715 J.B. Speed Art Museum , Louisville (KY), United States
Assunzione della Madonna 1735-1745 New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester, New Walk
Riposo nella fuga in Egitto 1730-1735 Private Collections
Natività di Gesù 1722-1724 Private Collections, Geneve, Swiss
La Familia (60 x 74 cm), oil on canvas 1715 Private Collections
Madonna 1735-1767 Private Collections, Genoa, Italy
Madonna 1730-1750 Moratilia, Paris, France
Marte e Venere 1720-1730 National Museum, Warsaw, Poland, Europe
Natività di Gesù 1740-1750 Unknown
Corpo di Seneca mostrato a Nerone 1715 Private Collection
Omaggio a Isaac Newton 1730-1732 Private Collection "Marzotto", Valdagno, Italy
Allegoria dell'Estate e dell'Inverno 1730-1735 Mortatila, Paris, France
Eliezer and Rebecca 1725 Mortatila, Musée des Beaux-arts de Bordeaux, France
Nativity, (74×56 cm), oil on canvas Musée des Beaux-Arts, Quimper, France
St. Peter 1720 Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany
Stoning of St Stephen (118 x 155 cm) Church's altar of S. Maria Diessen, Germany
Sacrifice de Jephthah Museo di Palazzo Reale, Genoa, Italy
Annunciation 1758 Accademia, Venice, Italy
Allegory of Painting and Allegory of Sculpture Accademia, Venice, Italy
Jupiter protect the Justice, (Plafonds decoration) Ca' Pesaro, Venice, Italy
The Peace and the Science (Plafonds decoration) Ca' Pesaro, Venice, Italy
Penitent Magdalene (48 x 38 cm), Oil on canvas 1740 Accademia, Venice, Italy
Hagar in the desert, Oil on canvas Church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice, Italy
Justice and Peace, Fresco Palazzo Pesaro, Venice, Italy
Sacrifice of Isaac (118 x 155 cm), Oil on canvas 1720 Church of San Francesco della Vigna, Venice, Italy
Martyrdom of Saint Thomas 1725 Church of San Stae, Venice, Italy
Madonna with Saints Church of San Germano dei Berici, Italy
Enthroned Madonna and child venerated by Saints Peter and Pius V 1723-1724 Church of Santa Corona, Vicenza, Italy
Diane and Actaeon (147 x 197.5 cm), Oil on Canvas 1725 Palazzo Chiericati, Vicenza, Italy
Portrait of Cardinal B. Roverella 1725 Accademia dei Concordi, Rovigo, Italy


Pictorial style[edit]

His early priceless works (av. 1722) have a passionate approach and dramatic dark and light, in which approaches the works of the young Giovan Battista Piazzetta. Next 1740 he has a style rich in colors, with vibrant impact compositions in which approach the european rococo, that at the time was in vogue. In his late works (ac. 1763) back into a full maturity with a passion of his ancestral pure sentiments with less animated works and with dark paintings that represent his real soul essence. These style changes are very significant in his artistic and personal maturity and food for numerous reflections of the direction and vision of life.


  • Venetian Paintings of the Eighteenth Century (October 31, 1961 to December 6, 1961), Finch College Museum of Art, October 31 to December 6, 1961
  • Italian Renaissance and Baroque Paintings from the Collection of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. (December 2, 1967 to May 15, 1968), Norfolk Museum Of Arts And Sciences, (Norfolk), December 2, 1967 to May 15, 1968
  • Baroque Masters from the J. Paul Getty Museum (February 26 to March 30, 1973), California State University, Northridge, February 26 to March 30, 1973
  • The Glory of Venice (September 15, 1994 to July 30, 1995), Royal Academy of Arts (London), September 15 to December 14, 1994; National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), January 29 to April 23, 1995; Museo del Settecento Veneziano di Ca' Rezzonico, (Venice), May 25 to July 30, 1995
  • La collezione Terruzzi, Royal Palace of Milan (Palazzo Reale Duomo), Milan, 2008


  1. ^ Elisa Viola (2005). L'Accademia di Venezia: i maestri, le collezioni, le sedi (in Italian). Venezia: Marsilio. ISBN 9788831786553. p. 28.
  2. ^ [1] Fondazione Zeri, Università di Bologna, Italy

Further reading[edit]

  • 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

See also[edit]

External links[edit]