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Valerie McClanahan
Indiana University Press

Last modified: Thursday, January 10, 2008

'Domenic Tiepolo: A New Testament' named Choice Outstanding Academic Book

Jan. 16, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Domenico Tiepolo: A New Testament, has been named a Choice Outstanding Academic Book for 2007. The book was co-authored by Adelheid M. "Heidi" Gealt, director of the Indiana University Art Museum, and co-published by Indiana University Press in association with the museum.

It is one of 20 selections in the Fine Arts category of Outstanding Academic Books, listed in the January 2008 issue of Choice, which is published by the American Library Association and used as a guide by academic librarians and faculty members.

The book, written and compiled by Gealt and George Knox, emeritus professor at the University of British Columbia, brings together for the first time a cycle of 313 known works from Domenico Tiepolo's New Testament pen-and-wash drawings.

Domenitco Tiepola

Domenico Tiepolo, "Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane: the second prayer"

Print-Quality Photo

Domenico Tiepolo (1727-1804), one of the foremost Venetian artists active in the 18th century, made his reputation as a draftsman and is probably best known for his drawn narrative cycles of the commedia dell'arte character Punchinello. He was the son of the celebrated artist Giambattista Tiepolo.

His New Testament drawings, which provide a visual narrative of early Christianity, were sold and scattered after his death. Gealt, an internationally recognized expert on Domenico, and Knox, a leading authority on Venetian art, culled through archives and sales records, and visited dealers to locate the drawings.

The book includes introductory chapters by Knox and Gealt providing a history of the drawings and a discussion of the literary and pictorial traditions in which Domenico worked and the complexities of his narrative approach. The heart of the book is a catalog of full-color reproductions of the drawings, arranged to follow the New Testament narrative.

"This book is something," reviewer Holland Cotter wrote in the New York Times. "Lovingly researched and written, with all the known drawings illustrated, identified, ordered and annotated, it is a historical, some might feel spiritual, event."