Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
Magician with Two Other Principal Figures Regarding a Burning Pyre...
From the series, Scherzi di Fantasia
Southern Europe, Italian
8 7/8 in. x 7 in. (22.54 cm x 17.78 cm)
Medium and Support:
Etching on paper
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Weil, Jr., in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Weil, Sr.
Tiepolo's images from the "Scherzi di Fantasia" are thematically similar in their representation of figures and symbols associated with fantasy and magic. In this print, the artist has inluded an elderly magician, and at the lower left an owl. The owl was a symbol of knowledge, and in the eighteenth century specifically that knowledge associated with the Holy Inquisition of the Catholic Church. The burning pyre with a human skull also suggests ancient mysticism and divinations that, in the eighteenth century, were quickly giving way to societies of enlightened rationalism.