Gaspare Diziani

Gaspare Diziani (1689 – Aug 17, 1767) was an Italian painter, draftsman, copper cutter, stage designer and restorer of the late-Baroque or Roccoco period, active mainly in the Veneto but also in Dresden and Munich.

Son of Giuseppe and Giustina Lina, His earliest training was in his native town of Belluno with Antonio Lazzarini. He then moved to Venice, to the studio of Gregorio Lazzarini and later that of Sebastiano Ricci. His career largely overlapped with Lazzarini and Ricci’s fellow pupil, Giambattista Tiepolo, who was seven years his elder.

Between 1710-1720, he painted a group of eight pictures that included the Mary Magdalene for the church of Santo Stefano in Belluno, and Entry into Jerusalem for San Teodoro in Venice. He also painted three frescoes on the Life of Saint Helena in the Scuola del Vin next to the church of San Silvestro. Diziani’s celerity and technical assurance are evident from preparatory oil sketches, where color has been applied in rapid and spirited strokes.

He also worked as a scenery painter for the theater and opera in Venice, Munich (1717), and later in Dresden, in conjunction with Alessandro Mauro. Diziani was invited to Rome by Cardinal Ottoboni in 1726, to paint a “magnificent decoration for the church of San Lorenzo in Damaso”. This work is now known only through an engraving by Claude Vasconi.

The Sala dei Pastelli in Ca’ Rezzonico has a sotto in su allegorical ceiling fresco of The Triumph of Poetry (Poetry surrounded by Painting, Architecture, Music and Sculpture).

After the death of Sebastiano Ricci in 1734, he gave up the stage painting and devoted himself entirely to decorative painting, choosing mainly historical, religious and scenic motifs. Diziani was known for a fast and accurate painting technique with a powerful brush stroke. Especially his early work is characterized by exuberant colors and gestures, which is due to Ricci’s influence. Later he developed his own style, which is somewhat more gentle and delicate, which is reflected in particular in his works of the second half of the 1740s.

He spent the rest of his life in the Serenissima. He was among the founders of the Academy and was chairman of the Academy.

Ricci’s influence was reflected in the colorism and plasticity of the shapes, as they demonstrated more than the great compositions, the small sketches, such as the Scenes of Revelation, and the many drawings that have come to our time.

In his time, Diziani was a very popular and busy painter who carried out numerous works for churches and convents in and around Venice.

Both Tiepolo and Diziani were prolific, although Diziani’s commissions, especially the early ones, were more playful bedroom, small salon, and perishable scenographic decorations, works for private ornament while the more eminent Tiepolo was able to attract the more vast ceiling decorations encompassing devotional, mythologic, and allegorical topics beyond and above the quotidian. Diziani does show the influence of Tiepolo, although not the lightness of coloration that the latter had gained from the frescoes of Luca Giordano.

During the nineteenth century, Diziani was largely forgotten, his works scarcely mentioned, or Ricci. Only later was his important contribution to the artistic epoch of the late baroque recognized. Today, his works are found in major museums such as the Hermitage, the Louvre in Paris, and the Albertina in Vienna.

His pupils included Jacopo Marieschi (1711-1794) and Pietro Edwards (1744-1821). .His sons Antonio and Giuseppe became landscape painters, active in Venice.

Mary Magdalene (1710-1720), St. Stephen’s Church, Belluno.
Entrance to Jerusalem (1710-1720), San Teodoro, Venice.
San Francesco in ecstasy (1727), San Rocco, Belluno.
St. Elena’s Life (three paintings), Scuola del Vin, Venice.
Martyr (1734-1735), Cathedral of Chioggia.
The alms of Angelo Paoli, Church of the Carmine, Venice.
Diana Correr Museum, Venice.
Selene and Endimione (1750-1755), Venus with Anonymous (1740-1747), Child Playing with a Leopard, Venetian Eighteenth Century Museum, Ca ‘Rezzonico.
Decoration fresco, church of San Bartolomeo (1750), Bergamo.
Adoration of shepherds (1753-54), Basilica of S. Maria Assunta, Clusone (BG), oil on canvas cm 280×140;
Last Supper, oil on canvas, evolved 360 cm x 200 cm, parish church of Roncade, Treviso 1751.
Antioco and Stratonice, Bowes Museum, Durham County, United Kingdom.
Couple in a Forest, Dallas Museum of Art, Texas.
The gods of Olympus, Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.
The Finding of Moses,
Deianira’s rat,
Venus and Volcano,
The Rat of Europe,
Saint Francis of Paola;
The Sacrifice of Isaac (1750-1755), National Art Gallery, Washington.
Triumph of poetry, Ca ‘Rezzonico.
Saint Peter and St. Paul fight heresy, Eucharistic Museum of Jerome, Paray-le-Monial
Work visible in the Church of the Angels Raffaele Venezia.
The saints Francesco, Antonio, Bonaventura and Pietro d’Alcantara fell to the church of San Bonaventura delle Eremite in Padua.
The Virgin with the Child, St. Joseph, St. John the Baptist and St. Anthony of Padua (1755) – Church of the Apostles (Venice)