Giambattista and Domenico Tiepolo: Master Drawings from the Anthony J. Moravec Collection

Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University
Judi and Milt Stewart Hexagon Gallery,
Special Exhibitions Gallery, first floor
October 1, 2016-February 5, 2017

Lecture: Friday, October 28, 2016, 5:30-6:30 p.m. 
IU Global and International Studies Building, room 0001

Reception: Friday, October 28, 2016, 6:30-7:30 p.m. 
IU Eskenazi Museum of Art 

Related Events: (click to learn more)
Arts Connection: Sunday, November 13, 2:00-3:30 p.m. 
Concert featuring works by Vivaldi, followed by a gallery talk on the exhibition

Panel Discussion and Reception: Wednesday, November 30, 6:00-8:00 p.m. 
A panel of experts discuss Old Master Drawings

(Click on images for high resolution versions)

Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane
Image 1: Domenico Tiepolo (Italian, 1727-1804). Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane: The Second Prayer, ca. 1785. Pen and brown ink wash over black chalk on paper. The Anthony Moravec Collection of Old Master Drawings, Eskenazi Museum of Art 2010.118

Exhibition Highlights Domenico Tiepolo's Iconic 18th-Century New Testament Series of Works on Paper

This fall, the Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University will showcase a series of Italian master drawings, in an exhibition that highlights a major gift of art in the museum’s 75-year history. Giambattista and Domenico Tiepolo: Master Drawings from the Anthony J. Moravec Collection will present a collection of works on paper by the Venetian masters Giambattista and Domenico Tiepolo—a father and son who are widely considered two of the most notable Italian draftsmen of their era—along with works by contemporaries Ubaldo Gandolfi and Giuseppe Bernardino Bison, as well as their predecessor Jacopo Palma il Giovane. Giambattista and Domenico Tiepolo marks the first time that the Eskenazi Museum has comprehensively exhibited the collection of Anthony J. Moravec, an Indiana philanthropist and civic leader who spent five years building the collection in concert with Dr. Adelheid Gealt, the museum’s director emeritus, before donating his holdings to the Eskenazi Museum in 2010.

On view from October 1, 2016 through February 5, 2017, the exhibition and its accompanying catalogue will provide new scholarship and curatorial insight on Giambattista and Domenico Tiepolo, two of the most important artists in the Old Masters canon. The exhibition will center on a set of 12 New Testament drawings by Domenico Tiepolo, part of a now-scattered cycle of 320 drawings that is regarded as the most exhaustive and sustained visual exploration of the subject by any artist in history. Domenico’s large pen, brush, and ink drawings were dispersed after his death in 1804, and entered many public and private collections where they were prized as outstanding drawings. However, the actual series to which these individual drawings belonged was not known until two scholars— Adelheid Gealt and George Knox, professor emeritus of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver—spent 10 years piecing the series back together and publishing it as a newly discovered New Testament cycle in 2006. Following Moravec’s 2010 gift, which was the largest private collection of New Testament drawings to enter a public collection in recent history, the Eskenazi Museum has become the world’s third-largest repository of works from Tiepolo’s New Testament series, after the Museé du Louvre and the Morgan Library and Museum. 

“Anthony Moravec’s gift of his magnificent collection has dramatically enhanced the Eskenazi Museum’s holdings of 18th-century works on paper, transforming this into a major area of strength for the museum and enhancing our already-significant holdings of European art from the High Renaissance and Late Baroque periods,” said David Brenneman, the Wilma E. Kelley Director of the Eskenazi Museum of Art. “We are deeply grateful to Anthony for his generous gift, which we are proud to showcase through this exhibition.”

Centaur Playing with PunchinellosImage 2: Domenico Tiepolo (Italian, 1727-1804). A Centaur Playing with Punchinellos, ca. 1770. Pen and brown ink wash over black chalk on paper. The Anthony Moravec Collection of Old Master Drawings, Eskenazi Museum of Art 2010.129  

In addition to works from Domenico’s New Testament series, the Moravec collection also includes important works on paper by his father, Giambattista Tiepolo, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest draftsmen of the 18th century. Works by Ubaldo Gandolfi and Giuseppe Bernardino Bison round out the collection, along with a drawing by Jacopo Palma il Giovane—a previously unidentified study for his painting St. John the Baptist Preaching, which was acquired by the museum in 1964. In total, 24 works on paper will be displayed in Giambattista and Domenico Tiepolo, which will be a major highlight of the Eskenazi Museum’s 75th-anniversary season.

“This exhibition will reintroduce our audiences to the richness of the Italian Old Master tradition, and especially to the work of Domenico Tiepolo—a unique voice among his contemporaries whose works on paper are notable for their synthesis of Biblical and mythological subject matter with the visual vocabulary of 18th-century Venetian life,” said the exhibition’s curator Adelheid Gealt. “By showcasing our world-renowned holdings of Tiepolo’s New Testament series, the Eskenazi Museum is contributing to an ongoing reassessment of this important body of work.”

Gealt authored an illustrated catalogue to accompany the exhibition, which will include new scholarship on Giambattista and Domenico Tiepolo. The catalogue will also feature an interview with Anthony Moravec about the origins and history of his collecting practice. Giambattista and Domenico Tiepolo will be published this fall in association with Indiana University Press.

Flight to EgyptImage 3: Giambattista Tiepolo (Italian, 1696-1770). The Flight into Egypt, 1735-40. Pen and brown ink wash over traces of black chalk on paper. The Anthony Moravec Collection of Old Master Drawings, Eskenazi Museum of Art 2010.134

About the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art:

Since Indiana University first established a small exhibition gallery in 1941, the museum has grown into one of the foremost university art museums in the country. Today, the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art includes more than 45,000 objects representing nearly every art-producing culture throughout history. Its internationally acclaimed collection features a wide variety of pieces, from African masks to paintings by Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso.

Eskenazi Museum collection highlights include one of only two existing complete sets of Marcel Duchamp’s “Readymades” from the 1964 edition; a Jackson Pollock action painting (No. 11); and one of the world’s most significant ancient jewelry collections, with more than 5,000 objects.

Housed in an iconic building designed by architect I.M. Pei, the Eskenazi Museum serves as a cultural and research resource to students, faculty, and the broader Bloomington and Indianapolis communities. The Eskenazi Museum of Art is free and open to the public Tuesday to Sunday.

About the donor:

Anthony J. Moravec, a Columbus, Indiana businessman, philanthropist, and preservationist, has been one of the world’s leading collectors of Domenico Tiepolo’s New Testament drawings from the time he started building his collection in late 2005 until his gift to the Eskenazi Museum of Art in 2010. A longtime member and former chairman of the Eskenazi Museum of Art’s national advisory board, Mr. Moravec began by acquiring Domenico’s drawing Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane: The Second Prayer, and continued adding to his collection until he had 12 remarkable examples. Besides his support of the art museum, Mr. Moravec has overseen an award-winning renovation of the historic Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor in Columbus, Indiana, and is currently engaged in renovating the grand old Pump House in Columbus, which is situated on the White River.

Study for St John the Baptist PreachingImage 4: Palma Giovane [Jacopo il Giovane] (Italian, 1548-1628). Study for St. John the Baptist Preaching, ca. 1620. Pen and brown ink wash on paper. Anthony Moravec Collection of Old Master Drawings, Eskenazi Museum of Art 2010.128

For Media in Indiana:

Abe Morris
Manager of Public Relations and Marketing
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art
812-855-9647
abamorri@iu.edu

For Media outside of Indiana:

A. J. Fox / Adriana Elgarresta
Resnicow and Associates
212-671-5157/ 5155
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