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Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo

(1727–1804, Venice)

The Patron Saints of the Crotta Family. Etching. 26.3 x 37.4 cm. 1750. De Vesme 74; Rizzi (1970) 102 II (of III); Rizzi (1971) 105 II (of III); Succi 41 II (of IV). Watermark: Letters AS.

The present print reproduces a major painting executed by Tiepolo as a private commission. It remained in the Palazzo Calbo Crotta in Venice until 1902 and is now in the Städel Museum in Frankfurt am Main. The Crotta family originally came from the city of Bergamo, of which Lupus, the grandson of the family’s progenitor Roberto, became dux (leader) in the third century A.D. His daughter, Grata, tried in vain to convert her father to Christianity. Having turned to the Christian knight Alessandro for help, she was told that the conversion of her father would take place soon. Shortly afterwards Alessandro was decapitated for refusing to worship a statue of Pluto. Grata, wishing to bury the martyr properly, carried the decapitated head on a white cloth and, as she proceeded through the city to her father’s palace, beautiful flowers sprung from the drops of blood. When Grata showed the martyr’s head and the flowers to her father – the episode that is depicted on this print – Lupus instantly converted to Christianity. An exquisite, nuanced and early impression with wide margins, before the number 15. A minor fold and slight traces of hand

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