Thalia and Melpomene, the Muses of Comedy and Tragedy Artist: Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (Italian, Venice, 1696–1770)


European Art

Not on view

Oil on canvas


diam.: 28 in. (71.1 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Louis M. Rabinowitz

Accession Number



18th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Palazzo Labia, Venice, possibly to 1898 [see note 1]. Leone Oreffice, Venice. With Julius Böhler, Munich, by 1904. Elkan Silbermann (1892–1952) and Abris Silbermann (1896–1968), Budapest; sold to an unknown buyer. Purchased by E.A. Silberman Galleries, Inc. (Elkan and Abris Silberman, dealers), New York, 1930 [see note 2]; sold to Louis M. Rabinowitz (1887–1957), Sands Point, Long Island, New York, 1937 (on loan to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 1946); given to the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn., 1947
Note 1: According to Momenti (1911), the painting was displayed in the dining room of the Palazzo Labia.
Note 2: Established in 1928, E. and A. Silberman Galleries, New York, was formed by brothers Elkan and Abris Silberman (born Silbermann) as a branch of their family’s galleries in Vienna and Budapest. A letter from Abris Silberman to Mrs. Alice Wolf, research assistant at the Gallery, notes that Thalia and Melpomene, the Muses of Comedy and Tragedy, and Polymnia, the Muse of Sacred Hymn (YUAG acc. no. 1947.17), also by Tiepolo, had been with his and his brother’s collection in Budapest for many years and that the paintings were sold there and then re-acquired in 1930 in the United States. It is unknown whether the paintings had originally formed part of the Silbermann’s personal collection or gallery stock in Budapest. (Abris Silberman, letter to Mrs. Alice Wolf, June 12, 1946, curatorial object file)
  • Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri, Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1972), 601
Object copyright
Additional information


comedy tragedy

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