[2013] Kaleigh Merritt (The Word: 2013-2014, Default class, Art History 20132014): Giorgione: The T

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[2013] Kaleigh Merritt (The Word:  2013-2014, Default class, Art History 20132014): Giorgione: The T

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Giorgione Barbarelli da Castelfranco was an Italian painter alive in the height of the Renaissance. He was born in Castelfranco, Italy in 1477. Though he died at the young age of 30 due to the Black Plague, his art is considered a turning point in the history of art by David Piper in the book The Illustrated History of Art. Because not much is known about Giorgione's life, some scholars consider him to be one of the most mysterious painters in the High Renaissance. However, the writer, Vasari noted some aspects of Giorgione's personality in a short Life. According to Vasari’s writings, Giorgione was not only a skilled painter, he also played the lute, and was a “brilliant singer”. Giorgione had around 20 known paintings, but was most famous for his painting, The Tempest (La Tempesta). Some of his lesser known works include: "Laura" (1506), "The Three Philosophers" (around 1505), and "Venus" (around 1509).

Giorgione: The Tempest

What I first noticed about this painting was the young woman and her baby in the bottom right corner of the painting. Her positioning is strange compared to other paintings of the era, and the way she is looking directly at the viewer also adds some confusion. To some, this woman could be a gypsy, to others even a prostitute, but many people believe she is a symbol of life or Charity.

The boy in the corner is often times portrayed simply as a young Venetian or even as a shepherd because of the staff he is holding. Recently, X-rays have exposed another nude woman underneath of the boy. It is unknown why Giorgione may have done this. His gaze at the woman across the woman always interests art historians for the reason that if you look at the boy, a sort of triangle is formed between you, the boy and the woman.

The Tempest was painted in Venice around 1508. This oil painting is often considered a landscape though it does have people in it. The city in the background is unknown, but it is safe to assume that it is a city in Europe. Unlike many other oil paintings, Giorgione incorporates many darker tones with the storm in the back ground and the darkening sky.

Internet Sources:

Piper, David. "Giorgione: The Tempest." Trans. Array The Illustrated History of Art. . 1st ed. Great Britain : Octopus Publishing Group, 1981. 140-141. Print.


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