Giovanni Battista Tiepolo was born in 1696 in Venice, where he apprenticed with the painter Gregorio Lazzarini in 1710. His great model was the painter Veronese. The ambitious Tiepolo completed his first commission at the age of nineteen. Two years later he was enrolled in the painters’ guild as an independent painter. Tiepolo specialised in fresco painting, and from 1726 to 1729 he worked on bright, theatrical wall frescoes in the Archbishop’s Palace in Udine, which made him known well beyond the region. As a result he was commissioned to paint frescoes in villas and palaces in Milan, Bergamo, Venice and elsewhere. For ceiling paintings he developed illusionistic compositions that seemed to open up a view of the sky. With his two sons he worked in Würzburg from 1750 to 1753, decorating the Residenz, the seat of the prince-bishop. Commissions from the kings of Spain, France and England, and even from the Russian tsarina, followed. Tiepolo died in Madrid in 1770.