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Thursday 17 October 2019

Pietro Monaco's engraving, “The Patron Saints of the Crotta Family”, c1755, after Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Pietro Monaco (1707–1772)

“The Patron Saints of the Crotta Family” (aka “Canonization from the Crotta family”; “S. Grata Regina, in compagnia de' SS. Fermo, e Rustico, ...” [inscribed title]), c1755, after the painting of the same composition (1750) by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (aka Giambattista Tiepolo) in the Städel Museum (Frankfurt), plate 74 from the series, “Raccolta di 112 stampe di pitture della storia sacra”, published by Innocente Alessandri (1741–1803) and Pietro Scattaglia (c1739–1810) in Venice c1763.

Note: the Wikipedia entry for Tiepolo’s painting is incorrect ( The painting held by the Städel Museum is not by Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo (the son of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo) but by his father, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. Perhaps this inaccuracy can be explained by the fact that Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo also made an etching (in reverse) of his father’s painting (c1755-60) (see &

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“St Grata showing the head of St Alexander (one of the soldier-martyrs of the Theban Legion) to her father St Lupo who sits at the left accompanied by his wife Adelaide, after Tiepolo”

The Städel Museum offers the following description of Tiepolo’s portrayed scene in the painting that Monaco translates into engraved line:
“It shows a legendary episode from the history of that patrician dynasty, which had come from – and ruled – Bergamo. When the sovereign’s daughter Grata brings her heathen father the severed head of the martyred St Alexander, from which sweet-smelling flowers have sprouted, he converts to Christianity. Tiepolo stages the incident like a play, with dramatic gestures and luminous colours in a splendid architectural setting.”

Engraving with etching on laid paper trimmed along the platemark and backed on a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 35.3 x 50.1 cm.; (image borderline) 32.4 x 50.1 cm.
Lettered on plate below the image borderline: “S. GRATA REGINA, IN COMPAGNIA DE' SS. FERMO, E RUSTICO, MOSTRA IL RECISO CAPO DI S. ALESSANDRO M.A SS. LUPO ED ADELAIDE PRINCIPI DI BERGAMO SUOI GENITORI / Aspersus est Sanguis Isaiæ LXIII. 3. Flores apparverunt in terra. Cantic II. 12./ PITTURA DI GIO BATTA: TIEPOLO POSSESUTA DALLA N. F. GROTTA […] Appo Innocente Alessandri e Pietro Scattaglia in Venezia.” (My apologies if there are errors in my recording of this text.)

State iii (of iii) with the erasure of the plate number and addition of publication details.

LeBlanc 56–167 (Charles Le Blanc 1854, “Manuel de l'amateur d'estampes, contenant un dictionnaire des graveurs de toutes les nations : ouvrage destiné à faire suite au Manuel du libraire par J.Ch. Brunet”, vol. 3, Paris, p. 38, cat. nos. 56–167).; Rizzi 236.105 iii/iii

See the description of this print at the Rijksmuseum:

Condition: well-printed impression, trimmed along the platemark with a few abrasions (viz. on the left stairs) and minor restored losses (viz. there is a restored chip in the word “BATTA” on the lower edge); otherwise the sheet is in excellent condition (i.e. there are no significant tears, holes, folds, stains or foxing). The sheet is laid onto a support of millennium quality washi paper.

I am selling this large engraving showing St Grata— supposedly an ancestor of the Crotta family—accompanied by the martyrs Firmus and Rusticus, presenting her parents—Lupo (Duke of Bergamo) and Adelaide—the head of the martyr, Alexander of Bergamo, whose head sprouts flowers rather than blood, for the total cost of AU$453 (currently US$309.15/EUR278.02/GBP241.54 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world (but not, of course, any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries).

If you are interested in purchasing this engraved masterwork after Tiepolo by one of the major 18th century printmakers in Venice, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

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