ART: VENETIAN VIRTUOSO: GIAMBATTISTA TIEPOLO

TWO SHOWS CELEBRATE THE BRIO, WIT AND POWER OF THE 18TH CENTURY MASTER GIAMBATTISTA TIEPOLO

Anyone who feels uncomfortable with the sheer artificiality of art is likely to have difficulties with Giambattista Tiepolo, the greatest Italian painter--and one of the three or four chief European ones--of the 18th century. Though based on intensive study of the human body, his work is about as realistic as grand opera. Enter it, and you're inducted into a majestic yet unpredictable fantasy land. It is full of soaring and twisting space, transparency and delicious shot-silk color--a place dedicated to the imagination and filled with idealized personages from history, myth and fable. It is by turns sublime, witty and slightly preposterous...

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