About this artwork

The dramatic impact of Tiepolo's painting is heightened by its large size, sumptuous colouring and theatrical character. The Old Testament subject is made all the more immediate through the figures' contemporary appearance and life-like details, such as the depiction of Moses, who is shown upside down and bawling. The painting was originally even larger, but a section, showing a halberdier and a dog in a river landscape, was removed from the right, possibly in the nineteenth century (now in a private collection). Andrea Corner probably commissioned the work for his Palazzo Corner della Regina on the Grand Canal, Venice.

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Tiepolo was the outstanding Venetian artist of the eighteenth century. Many of his best works - large, light- filled, colourful and imaginative frescoes, have survived on the walls and ceilings of the villas and palaces for which they were painted. His fluid, rapid style made possible his prolific output, which featured, as well as decorative frescoes, large altarpieces and small canvases and drawings. He was also a talented print-maker. Tiepolo was elected first President of the Venetian Painters' Academy in 1755. Prestigious commissions outside Venice included frescoes for the Prince-Bishop's Residenz at Wurzburg and for Charles III's palace in Madrid.