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Tiepolo Pink

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  73 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
The eighteenth-century Venetian painter Giambattista Tiepolo spent his life executing commissions in churches, palaces, and villas, often covering vast ceilings like those at the Würzburg Residenz in Germany and the Royal Palace in Madrid with frescoes that are among the glories of Western art. The life of an epoch swirled around him—but though his contemporaries appreciat ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published October 20th 2009 by Knopf (first published 2006)
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Jan 25, 2010 Alastair rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of those typical Calasso books that's not about what it pretends to be. Well, not exactly. Some of this book is a defense of Tiepolo on his own terms, after years of being dismissed as a first-rate but basically uninteresting painter of 'decorative' fantasies. Calasso can't say TIepolo is an intellectual painter, not exactly, since the textual evidence of the letters & Tiepolo's contemporaries suggest a sphinxy lack of 'personality.' Instead, Tiepolo's wisdom is about juxtaposition, re-u ...more
Sep 15, 2012 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mike by: Marty's shelves
Shelves: art, general-history
I’m not the most patient person, which is one reason why I don’t listen to audiobooks or write/read long reviews here, so this book’s long non-critical descriptions of Tiepolo’s work were often, but not always, tedious to me; I’d rather just see reproductions of his work accompanied by critical commentary stripped of superfluous I-spyery, but that isn’t really possible for a cheap paperback, and might not appeal to most people anyway. Other than that, the book is fairly interesting, particularly ...more
Aug 17, 2015 Geoff marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Dipping in and out of this one as it's being kept by the bedside. The writing is out-of-this-world good... So many names have already been paraded and again Baudelaire has become a presiding spirit. Things bode well for this book.
Jan 23, 2012 Donna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of those books that had deserts and desserts; both were pretty, some were long. Though I often found myself confused and impatient while reading this, the first sentence was very rewarding.
"What happened with Tiepolo was the same thing that was to happen with certain imposing and mysterious ancient objects like the Shang bronzes: those aspects that resisted interpretation were considered decorative, while those too charged with meaning were labeled ornamental." I can take that to th
Roberto Calasso has taken a place in my list of favourite authors. “La Folie Baudelaire” was my introduction to his work and I fell in love with not only the language but the way in which he approaches the subject, the subtle twists and turns in his writing that make it enjoyable to read and easy to stay interested in the subject. “Tiepolo Pink” was no different.

It’s nice to finally be able to not only put a name but also a framework in terms of personality of the artist whose work I have seen s
Apr 21, 2010 Dan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
In 1983, I spent six weeks in Italy with my wife and daughter. During a three-day visit to Venice, we tracked down every Tiepolo ceiling we could find. Two of these were not in the guidebooks: they were painted in former palazzi that now housed the municipal waterworks and telephone office, respectively. I fell in love with Tiepolo's brilliant colors, dazzling light, billowing clouds, and infinite skies. So when a rave review of Calasso's book appeared in the New York Review, I ran out to buy it ...more
Sep 02, 2012 Vivian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Brilliantly, terribly esoteric. Calasso delves into an examination of Tiepolo's paintings that draws considerably on his knowledge of ancient religions and cultures. If you don't have a strong background in the classics or ancient studies, you may find yourself adrift at times (as I did). But the author's defense and discussion of Tiepolo's art is worth the effort.

Minor quibble: I wish the artwork in the book would have had been labeled, or at least been given better reference in the text (I.e
Astrid Virili
Jun 16, 2012 Astrid Virili rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: strabordante
Chi cerca un saggio esaustivo sulla pittura di Tiepolo farebbe bene a rivolgersi altrove, qui si indagano alcuni aspetti solo in apparenza secondari e piuttosto enigmatici della sua pittura. Il primo capitolo l'ho trovato un po' ostico, forse perché sono del tutto a digiuno di storia dell'arte, mentre con il secondo Calasso ci parla della più misteriosa fra le sue opere, la serie di incisioni raccolte negli Scherzi, il cui valore simbolico non è mai stato davvero chiarito. Affascinante la parte ...more
Sep 03, 2015 PBurmeister rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the Knopf hardcover version, 2009. This edition has an elegant cover, very good paper, exemplary design and stunning color reproductions (albeit small.)
And yet, who will be interested in reading this volume? Its best audience are those readers who are familiar with Tiepolo's work, especially if they have traveled to see it. I really enjoyed Calasso's writing and was impressed by his solid and insightful analysis of complicated images. Having not seen much of the examples in person, save f
Lula Mae
Jan 22, 2016 Lula Mae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una delicia para quien disfrute con el arte en general y con la pintura en particular y desde luego para mí, que estoy convencida que tienen que explicarme los cuadros para poder disfrutarlos plenamente. Porque aunque el arte moderno/contemporáneo requiera más esfuerzo que el de siglos anteriores, incluso los frescos de Tiepolo esconden guiños que alguien nos debe ayudar a descubrir.
Feb 08, 2010 jennifer marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
why is this $40? i don't know but it is ridiculously pretty looking and like basically every calasso, hits exactly at things i love. but two others of his are still sitting next to my bed on the unread shelf.
Dec 09, 2014 Karen marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This sounds more a book to skim thru for bits I would find interesting in the technique of an artist more decorative than breakthrough. But he may have obfuscated his own talent.
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Roberto Calasso (born 30 May 1941 in Florence) is an Italian publisher and writer. He was born into a family of the local upper class, well connected with some of the great Italian intellectuals of their time. His maternal grandfather Giovanni Codignola was a professor of philosophy at Florence University. Codignola created a new publishing house called La Nuova Italia, in Florence, just like his ...more
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