The Venetian artist Giovanni Battista (Giambattista) Tiepolo was perhaps the greatest painter and draftsman of 18th-century in Europe. He was the classical example of the Italian Rococo.
Tiepolo was equally prized as a painter and as a draftsman: his power of invention was unlimited and his skill without equivalent. His huge output of frescoes and altarpieces was somewhat due to his practice, like Rubens, of painting small 'modelli' (sketches) which, when approved by the client, could be carried out by his trained pupils under his own control. Many of these modelli and sketches survive, together with hundreds of his drawings. He also etched many plates, and, with Marco Ricci, was one of the founders of the great school of 18-century Venetian etchers.