Francesco Fontebasso

1707 - 1769

Place Born


Place Died



A painter, both on canvas and in fresco, a printmaker and a fine draughtsman, Fontebasso was a pupil of Sebastiano Ricci, to whom his style was to remain fundamentally indebted. He completed his education by visiting other parts of Italy, being recorded in 1728 in Rome, where he won the third prize in the annual Concorso Clementino for young painters at the Accademia di San Luca. He is also said to have visited Bologna. These experiences brought new influences, to which was added, after Fontebasso’s return to Venice, that of Giambattista Tiepolo, with whose frescoes in the cathedral and Palazzo Arcivescovile at Udine he must have become familiar in the years around 1730. Although attempts to establish that Fontebasso and Tiepolo worked together are unconvincing, Fontebasso’s mature style is essentially a synthesis of the styles of Ricci and Tiepolo. These influences alternate, however, making much of his work difficult to date.

Fontebasso’s earliest datable work is an etching executed in August 1731 after an altarpiece recently completed by Sebastiano Ricci for the church of Sant’Alessandro della Croce at Bergamo . Several early paintings, including The Adoration of the Magi and The Last Supper in the Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice, datable c.1734-6, were long thought to be the work of Ricci . In 1734 he frescoed the two main compartments of the vault of the church of the Gesuiti in Venice , and in 1 736 executed a major cycle of frescoes in the church of the Annunziata at Trent . By the 1740s he had established a considerable reputation, being called to execute decorative schemes in Brescia and even St. Petersburg as well as Venice. The youngest of the artists appointed to choose the first teaching staff of the new Accademia Veneziana in 1756, Fontebasso was elected President of the Academy in 1768, but died the following year.

Available Art Works

Jacob wrestling  the Angel

Work Available
Historical Period: 1720-1780 Rococo
Jacob wrestling the Angel

Art Works Sold

A Satyr surprising a sleeping Nymph

Sold or not Available
Historical Period: 1720-1780 Rococo
A Satyr surprising a sleeping Nymph