Dose of Art #95: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo – Neptune Offering Gifts to Venice (c. 1750’s)

The Venetian Republic commissioned this painting to replace a lost painting by Tintoretto. It was one of the last public commissions by the city of Venice; as its thousand years of history drew to a close, it wanted a painting of Neptune pouring out the treasures of the sea and the riches of commerce before Venice. It was a fitting allegory as all the wealth and power the city had come -in one form or another- from the sea. Some forty years after this painting most of this wealth and power would be gone.