The Banca Centrale della Repubblica di San Marino has issued (27th August) new €2 commemorative coins for 2020 for the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the death of Italian artist Giambattista Tiepolo (1696–1770), who is considered the greatest painter of the 18th century and the last exponent of the glorious Venetian school. During his lifetime, Tiepolo was prolific in terms of the number of finished works who left a legacy of art not only in Italy, but also in Germany and Spain.
Born as Giovanni Battista Tiepolo in Venice in March 1696, he was the youngest of six children of Domenico Tiepolo, a small shipping merchant who belonged to a family that bore the prestigious patrician name of “Tiepolo,” though without having claimed any noble heritage. A year after Giovanni was born, his father died, which left his mother to bring up her children in somewhat difficult financial circumstances. In 1710 Giovanni became a pupil of Gregorio Lazzarini, a successful painter with an eclectic style all his own. His first significant commission came during the years 1715-16 when he was involved in painting depictions of the apostles for the Church of the Ospedoletto in Venice. In particular, Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (1727–1804) would have the greatest recognition as an independent artist after his father’s death.
During his early career, Tiepolo earned a reputation for an innovative approach for his work with Venetian frescoes and for their luminosity, which brought him many commissions. Many of his masterpieces in Venice still survive today, such as that of a ceiling for the Palazzi Archinto and Casati-Dugnani in Milan (1731), a ceiling for the Gesuati, Santa Maria del Rosario of St. Dominic Instituting the Rosary (1737–1739) and for the ballroom of the Palazzo Labia in Venice, which is now a television studio showing the Story of Cleopatra (1745–1750). Tiepolo’s career took him to other countries during his most productive years, travelling in November 1750 to Würzburg. In 1761, Tiepolo was invited to Spain at the behest of King Carlos III, who commissioned him to create a ceiling fresco to decorate the throne room of the Royal Palace of Madrid.
It was in Spain where Tiepolo died, on the 27th March 1770, in Madrid, and where he was buried. During his long career and productive years between 1719 until his death, he is credited with having painted more than 75 recognised masterpieces, many of which are part of greater collections in national museums and visited in churches and palaces in Spain, Germany, and Italy.
The commemorative €2 coins are produced by the Istituto Poligrafico Zecca della Stato (IPZS) at their facilities in Rome on behalf of the Banca Centrale della Repubblica di San Marino and designed by Claudia Momoni. The obverse side of the two-euro coins depicts the moment when the angel sent by God saves Hagar and Ishmael, who were lost in the desert and directs them to a source of water. The detail is taken from the painting Hagar and Ishmael, one of Tiepolo’s absolute masterpieces, and which is kept at the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, a building in Venice which is noted for its collection of paintings. It is generally regarded or known to include some of his finest works in the world. The text TIEPOLO is placed along the upper rim towards the right side with the additional text SAN MARINO shown along the lower rim also towards the right. Just below the motif of the angel are the commemorative years 1770 and 2020. The reverse side is that of the standard euro-zone design for all two-euro circulation-type coins, the numeral 2 superimposed over a map depicting Europe, created by artist Luc Luycx.
|8.5 g||25.7 mm||Brilliant Unc.||
Each Brilliant Uncirculated quality strike is presented in a blister-pak type coin-card which is enclosed in a folder with magnetic strip closure. The illustrations include elements from the masterpiece featured on the coin and informative text about the life and works of Giambattista Tiepolo. For more information about this coin and other coins available from the Banca Centrale della Repubblica di San Marino, please visit the website of the Ufficio Filatelico Numismatico San Marino.