Bring the Drama with a Tiepolo-Inspired Scarf

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Italian, 1696–1770) is considered by many to be the most outstanding painter of 18th-century Europe. His whimsical compositions, several of which are now on view in The Met’s recently renovated European Paintings galleries, are no less captivating today than they were three centuries ago.

Regarded as the first master of the Grand Manner, a mode of painting celebrated for its idealized, often classical motifs, Tiepolo perfected a theatrical style emphasizing artistic caprice (capriccio) and fantasy (fantasia). He united themes and figures from ancient history and mythology, the scriptures, and sacred legends in his incomparable frescoes, paintings, and oil sketches, which he raised to a high art form as worthy as his finished works.

Allegory of the Planets and Continents. Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. Oil on canvas, 73 x 54 7/8 in., 1752. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, 1977 1977.1.3


Allegory of the Planets and Continents (1752), featured on our large and luxurious scarf, is one of Tiepolo’s most dazzling oil sketches, in which a radiant Apollo, the god of light, is set to launch on his daily course across the sky. The deities around Apollo symbolize the planets, while the allegorical figures on the cornice represent the "four continents," which included Europe, Africa, Asia, and America at the time.


In April of 1752, Tiepolo presented this preliminary sketch (now in The Met collection) to the German prince-bishop Carl Philipp von Greiffenklau of Würzburg as his proposal for a fresco for the ceiling over a resplendent palace staircase designed by the German architect Balthasar Neumann. The final fresco positions Würzburg and its rulers at the center of the cosmos, and presents multiple viewpoints as visitors climb the stairs. Tiepolo likewise decorated the oval reception room at the top, where guests were afforded an audience with the prince-bishop. Of Tiepolo’s astounding commissions for churches, villas, and palaces, this fresco is often said to be his greatest achievement.

Shop our oversize silk scarf inspired by Tiepolo's masterpiece in-store and online, where you’ll find an expansive selection of textiles evoking artworks and objects in The Met collection.