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Artists Giorgione


Italian Painter

Giorgione Photo
Movements and Styles: High Renaissance, The Venetian School

Born: c.1477 - Castelfranco, Italy

Died: 1510 - Venice, Italy

"Together with Leonardo, Giorgione was the first pure painter of modern art history and his influence on generations of painters after him surpassed all of his contemporaries [...] He was the first painter in modern European art history to unify poetry and naturalness. Truly, modern painting begins with Giorgione."


Giorgio da Castelfranco, or Giorgione as he is better known, lived a short, but vital, life; a life that confirmed him indeed as one of the most important and enigmatic figures in the history of Western art. The elusive, poetic quality to his painting - with no surviving documentation of the artist's preferences and aims, and no record of his patron's demands, their meanings have always been subject to fervent conjecture - secured a legacy that belies a career that lasted just 15 years. Though Giorgione's paintings resist straightforward classification, they undoubtedly challenged the modern style of the day and the artist was instrumental in effecting a shift within Venetian culture towards a new appreciation for the ancient world, esoteric mythology and the natural world. He is remembered primarily for his portraits and landscapes, and of the latter, there is some consensus amongst historians that his work led to the development of landscape as a legitimate genre in its own right. Vasari's famous biography describes him merely as a man of intelligence, charm and prodigious talent (though the author's account was probably drawn from Giorgione's painting style rather than from reliable records and/or anecdotes) - he emerges as a pivotal figure in the move within Renaissance art towards a style that promoted the sensuous blending of luminous colour that we recognise to this day as a hallmark of the Venetian Renaissance.

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