Art: Ten-Cent Tiepolos

On June 29, 1885. a London art dealer named Parsons sold to the Victoria and Albert Museum a couple of albums he obviously was delighted to get rid of. The volumes contained 326 original drawings and sketches by an 18th century Venetian painter whose work had fallen out of favor. Parsons disposed of the lot for £11, about 10¢ a drawing.

Last week, on loan from the Victoria and Albert, which now regards them as among its finest possessions, 135 of those drawings were on display at the National Gallery in Washington. Their creator was...

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