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Image of Death Giving Audience

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
Italian, 1696–1770

Death Giving Audience

about 1743
From the series, Capricci

Object Type: Print
Dimensions:
5 3/4 in. x 7 in. (14.61 cm x 17.78 cm)
Medium and Support: Etching on paper
Accession Number: 1985.0004.0008

Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Weil, Jr., in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Weil, Sr.


In "Death Giving Audience," a half-dozen people cower behind a wise man who leans on the entrance to a tomb and talks with a seated skeleton, a universal symbol of Death. A skull and what may be an extinguished candle, traditional memento mori emblems, are atop the tomb behind the group. A cautious dog looks on, emphasizing the humans’ attention that is riveted on Death. As in the other Capricci, the main theme is relatively clear, but specific meanings remain elusive, dependent on what the viewer brings to the image.

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