Hidden treasures

The 'Triumph of eloquence' fresco in the Sandi Palazzo in Venice

Unknown places & works

The 'Triumph of eloquence' fresco in the Sandi Palazzo in Venice

In San Polo district in Venice on the Grand Canal there is a small gothic palace built by the ancient Tiepolo family that was subsequently purchased by the Sandi a family who acquired the title of Venetian nobles during the 1700s.

To celebrate the acquired nobility, in 1724, the new owners commissioned Giambattista Tiepoloto to paint a fresco in the hall of their building. Tiepolo created 'the triumph of eloquence'; the theme of the painting is mythological and the episodes represented are 'Amphion builds the walls of Thebes with the power of music', 'Bellerophon and the Chimaera', 'Hercules Gallico', 'Orpheus and Eurydice'.

The monochrome frieze surrounding the painting represents ‘primitive Humanity', that is men fighting each other in the 'state of nature'. To get out of this state requires the strength of eloquence and law (in fact, the clients were lawyers) according to a philosophy carried on, among others, by Thomas Hobbes.

Although this is the first fresco on the ceiling by Tiepolo, the result is as great as its subsequent masterpieces: the figures are foreshortened from below against the sky in theatrical poses, with light and fluttering garments.

Palazzo Tiepolo Sandi is now the headquarters of the National Builders Association (ANCE).

If you want to see other works by Giambattista Tiepolo in Venice, we recommend a visit to Ca' Rezzonico – Venicie Eighteenth Century Museum: our guides will show you the many frescoed halls of this great artist and provide a historical and artistic explanation on his exceptional work!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff
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