This painter represented the Venetian school in Russia. A student of
Sebastiano Ricci, he was one of the busiest painters in the field of monumental
decoration, who painted “in oils and fresco, with such ease as to arose
In Italy he worked with Tiepolo and with Giamberrino Cignaroli from
Verona on the decoration of the Palazzo Barbarigo; with Diziani on the
decoration of the Palazzo Bernardi, 1743-50, and the Palazzo Contarini
at S. Benedetto, c. 1748, and on his own at the Palazzo Boldù, 1744-45,
and the Palazzo Duolo, c. 1743.
He decorated vaults and ceilings with vividly colored, theatrical,
and slightly awkward creations “without begging anything from reality.”
His repertoire included allegorical and Biblical themes, and episodes from
ancient history and mythology.
Certainly, in order to fully appreciate this type of ‘palace’ painting
it is necessary to consider the furnishings of which it was an integral
part: the stuccoes, wall hangings, gilded or lacquered furniture, lamps
in Murano glass overflowing with multicolored flowers, and highly polished
Fontebasso worked in Russia in 1760-1762. He is the last outstanding
representative of Italian monumental painting.
Painting of Venice. by Klára Garas. Corvina. Budapest.
Paintings of the 18th-early 20th centuries from the Reserves of
the Russian Museum. by K. Mikhailova and G. Smirnov. Leningrad. 1982.