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Studio of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Venice 1696-1770 Madrid)
Studio of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Venice 1696-1770 Madrid)

Julius Caesar contemplating the severed head of Pompey

Details
Studio of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Venice 1696-1770 Madrid)
Julius Caesar contemplating the severed head of Pompey
oil on canvas
21.1/8 x 28.3/8 in. (53.6 x 72 in.)
Provenance
Anon. sale, A. Geri, Florence, 18 May 1914, lot 176.
L. Giusti, Modena, by 1962.
Literature
M. Precerutti-Garberi, 'Di alcuni dipinti perduti del Tiepolo', Commentari, April-June 1958, pp. 114-116, pl. XLVI, as Giovanni Battista Tiepolo.
A. Morassi, A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings of G.B. Tiepolo, London, 1962, p. 29, fig. 309 as Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, 'judging from the small reproduction'.

Lot Essay

Antonio Morassi fully accepted this picture as autograph by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (loc. cit.).

Caesar's campaign againt Pompey began with the crossing of the Rubicon and ended with the latter's flight to Egypt and death by stabbing. According to Plutarch (32:80 and 34:48) when Caesar reached Egypt he was presented with Pompey's head by an Egyptian, but turned away in abhorrence. On receiving Pompey's seal he burst into tears.

The same subject was commissioned by Algarotti from Tiepolo in 1743 (F. Algarotti, Opere, Pisa, 1764, VIII, pp. 375-388) and was included in the sale of the 'Collection Royale de Tableaux venus de Saxe', A. Dankmeyer, Amsterdam, 22 May 1765, lot 65 (A. Morassi, op. cit., p. 1). Although the present whereabouts of that picture are not known, Morassi proposed that the present picture was the modello for it (ibid., p. 29).
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