Indiana University Research & Creative Activity

Humanities, Then and Now

Volume XXIX Number 1
Fall 2006

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Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane

Domenico's New Testament

The Venetian master draughtsman and printmaker Domenico Tiepolo (1727–1804) is celebrated for his large-format drawings, especially his pictorial biography of the comedic figure Punchinello. But nothing “can compare to Domenico’s special passion for sacred narrative,” say Adelheid M. Gealt and George Knox. For the first time, Gealt, director of the Indiana University Art Museum, and Knox, a professor emeritus at University of British Columbia, have brought together 313 drawings from Domenico’s series A New Testament. Divided in the early 19th century, the massive series of drawings had long been disordered and dispersed. Gealt and Knox spent more than a decade reuniting the drawings, which relate the history of Christianity from the ancestral Joachim and Anna to the martyrdom of Peter and Paul. At left is Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. This fall, with support from Philip Morris, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, private funders, and IU’s New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities grant program, Gealt’s and Knox’s 800-page Domenico Tiepolo: A New Testament appears from Indiana University Press. The book, with more than 300 color images, accompanies an exhibition of 60 Domenico drawings on display at the Frick Collection in New York until January. A small collection of five drawings will return to Bloomington in March 2007, and a special exhibition in Venice is scheduled the following fall. As Gealt and Knox write in their introduction to the new volume, “Two hundred years after Domenico’s death, his forgotten masterpiece has finally been reassembled with the hope that his greatest accomplishment as a draughtsman can at last be more fully appreciated.”