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Tiepolo Pink

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  79 Ratings  ·  18 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
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by Knopf (first published 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Kalliope
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


Calasso’s books seem to require some familiarity with their subject before letting oneself being led by his disquisitions. With Tiepolo this would require the paintings and murals, as well as the writing on them by writers. In particular Proust’s, as Calasso’s title is a quote of the latter. And, even if Calasso does not explicitly address Powell, Temporary Kings, volume eleven of the Dance will also come to the mind of the reader.

While visiting Tieopolo’s works in Ca’Rezzonico a friend and I ta
...more
Jonfaith
Of all the greats of painting, Tiepolo was the last one who knew how to keep silent.

3.5 stars with an asterisk: political reality has never been this depressing. Calasso points to the sublime, the inherent mystery within. The task at hand is the Scherzi and the Capricci a pair of collections of etchings from the 18C painter Giambattista Tiepolo, an inscrutable iconography. Along the way of this largely orthodox art criticism we do encounter the Chaldean who sat with Plato during the philosopher'
...more
Alastair
Jan 25, 2010 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
Greg Brozeit
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art
For Proust, Tiepolo was first and foremost Odette’s robes. In the eyes of this very young and stubborn worshipper, none of the outfits with which Madame Swann appeared in society were remotely comparable to the “marvelous robe in crepe de Chine or silk, old rose, cherry, Tiepolo pink, white, mauve, green, red, yellow, plain or patterned, with which Madame Swann had eaten breakfast and was about to take off.”

Reading Tiepolo Pink conjures images of sitting in a comfortable, plush chair opposite
...more
Mike
Sep 01, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Geoff
Aug 17, 2015 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.
Donna
Sep 01, 2011 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
...more
Margaryta
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
...more
Dan
Mar 31, 2010 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
Vivian
Jul 11, 2012 rated it liked it


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
...more
Astrid Virili
Jun 16, 2012 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
PBurmeister
Sep 03, 2015 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
...more
Lula Mae
Jan 22, 2016 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.
jennifer
Feb 07, 2010 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.
Laurel
currently reading, what is he talking about?
Karen
Dec 09, 2014 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.
Gregory
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Jul 20, 2014
Hank Rasher
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Aug 02, 2014
Michael
rated it it was amazing
Feb 28, 2017
emile
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Apr 24, 2015
Molly Tanış
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Dec 08, 2013
Eric Verbugt
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Oct 25, 2012
Christopher-Calvin Pollard
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Aug 17, 2015
Cathérine
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Jul 06, 2011
Andrea Cutrale
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Jan 05, 2015
Charlie
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Feb 09, 2011
Lauren
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Oct 23, 2014
Eschad
rated it it was amazing
Jul 20, 2016
Dave Thomas
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Aug 27, 2014
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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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