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The Da Vinci of Venice

Posted January. 30, 2020 08:24,   

Updated January. 30, 2020 08:24


Giorgione, known as the founder of “Venetian school,” lived a short and mysterious life. His career as an artist lasted only 15 years, but 16th-century historian Giorgio Vasari likened the artist to the great painter Leonardo Da Vinci.

Giorgione’s most well-known painting "The Tempest” is full of mysteries as well. Though scrutinized and researched for the last several centuries, the theme of this painting still remains puzzling, hence several interpretations exist. On the right side of the painting, a woman in nude is breastfeeding a child against a landscape with a town. The man on the left side is holding a long pike and smiling at them. Scholars have identified the man as a soldier, a shepherd, a gypsy or a member of a club of unmarried men.

Some say the painting represents a scene from a Greek myth or novel, Adam and Eve with their son Cain. Others say that the man is secretly pining for the woman. The most notable part of this painting is not the couple but the lightning that descends on them. Most historians agree on this opinion. The painter arranged the couple on each side of the painting, encouraging the audience to focus on the landscape. He is seen as the first artist to introduce the concept of a landscape painting at a time when figures were deemed most important.

This is the innovative nature of his paintings. His paintings attracted sponsors who were tired of religious paintings or portraits, and he became widely known beyond Venice and across the whole country.

At the height of his career, he died of plague in 1510 at the age of 33. His achievements were succeeded by his colleague Titian. His imaginary portraits and soft and sensuous landscape paintings that emphasized light and color later impacted Romanticism, Impressionism and Fauvism.