Female Satyr Holding a Ewer

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Italian, 1696-1770)
c. 1730
Oil on canvas 
23-1/4 x 37-1/2 in. (59 x 95.3 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Accession Number:
© Norton Simon Art Foundation 
On View

Tiepolo’s luminous paintings earned him great fame for his fantasia, or imagination. These enigmatic oval paintings were likely part of a set of three paintings recorded as overdoors in the Palazzo Avogadro in Brescia during the mid-eighteenth century. The handling of paint is strikingly loose in these works; it was often the case that paintings placed at a considerable height were broader in technique than one would expect in a small gallery picture on account of their location. It is not easy to construct a logical narrative in which satyrs, putti, platters, a rattle, a tambourine, an empty quiver, a vase and a ewer all feature. Although scholars have proposed several interpretations for the meaning of these panels, it is best to classify them as deliberately mysterious comic pastorals.


Conte Luigi Avogadro, Brescia, by 1760, by inheritance to his niece;
Paola Avogadro Fenaroli (d. 1800), Brescia, by inheritance to;
Bartolomeo Fenaroli, Brescia, by inheritance to;
Girolamo Fenaroli, Brescia (1827-1880, when the collection was dispersed).
Pierre and Marie-Marguerite Lebaudy (née Marie-Marguerite Luzarche d’Azay, 1871-1962) possibly as early as 1900, (sale, Paris, Palais Galliera, 15 June 1962, lot 4, ill., as Faunesse, 59.5 x 96 cm., and lot 5, as Faunesse et amours, 59 x 97 cm., to);
[Galerie Cailleux, Paris, sold 26 February 1980 to];
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

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