Utama The complete paintings of Giorgione

The complete paintings of Giorgione

The solid, undeniable facts concerning Giorgione could be contained without congestion on a postcard, and his surviving output is confined to a mere handful of pictures, most of them fairly small. Why, then, all the fuss? What accounts for the fame and the legend? The high quality of Giorgione s work, combined with the fact of his early death - irrespective of the exact circumstances in which it may have occurred - should have sufficed to start the legend...

Perfect for artists, illustrators, art and art history students and art lovers! 104 pages, over-sized, profusely illustrated. A must for every Giorgione, Venetian, Italian, Classical, 16th Century European painting fan and all aspiring painters!

 

Introduction5
An outline of the artists critical history9
Note on the Giorgionesque13
The paintings in colour15
List of plates16
The works81
Bibliography82
Outline biography83
Catalogue of works85
Other works attributed to Giorgione97
Other works mentioned in historical documents101
Other works presumed to be copies103
Other drawings attributed to Giorgione103
Titles and subjects103
Topographical104
Categories:
Tahun:
1968
Penerbit:
Abrams
Bahasa:
english, italian
Halaman:
104
ISBN 10:
0810955075
ISBN 13:
9780810955073
Series:
Classics of world art
File:
PDF, 17.16 MB
Unduh (pdf, 17.16 MB)

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CLASSICS OF THE WORLD'S GREAT ART

*r4i^

The Complete

Paintings of

Gior
Introduction by

Notes and Catalogue by

Cecil Gould

Pietro Zampetti

n6
A I R A

M

S

.

*•

*>.

•

The complete paintings

of

Giorgione
Introduction by Cecil Gould

Notes and catalogue by Pietro Zampetti

Harry N. Abrams, Inc. Publishers

New

York

Classics of the

World's Great Art

Editor
Paolo Lecaldano

International Advisory Board
Gian Alberto dell'Acqua

Andr6 Chastel
Douglas Cooper
Lorenz Eitner
Enrique Lafuente Ferrari

Bruno Molajoli
Carlo

L.

Ragghianti

Xavier de Sales

David Talbot Rice

Jacques Thuillier
Rudolf Wittkower

books is
by Rizzoli
France by

This series of

published
Editore, in

in Italy

Flammarion,

in

the United

Kingdom by Weidenfeld and
Nicolson. in the United States

by Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
Editorial Noguer and in

in

Spain by

Switzerland by Kunstkreis

Standard Book Number 8109-5507-5
Library of Congress Catalogue
Card Number 74-92262
Copyright in Italy by

©

1968
bound in

Rizzoli Editore,

Printed and

Italy

Table of contents

.^

Cecil

Gould

Pietro Zampetti

Appendices

Introduction

5

An

9

outline of the artist's critical history

Note on the Giorgionesque

13

The paintings

15

in

colour

List of plates

16

The works

81

Bibliography

82

Outline biography

83

Catalogue of works

85

Other works attributed to Giorgione

97

Other works mentioned

Indexes

in historical

documents

101

Other works presumed to be copies

103

Other drawings attributed to Giorgione

103

Titles

and subjects

Topographical

103
104

Photographic sources

Colour plates: Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; Blauel,
Munich; Emmer, Venice; Fine Arts Society, San Diego, California;
Flammarion, Paris; Herzog Anton-Ulrich Museum,
Brunswick; Meyer, Vienna; Museum Boymans-Van
Beuningen, Rotterdam; National Gallery of Art,
Washington, d.c; Scala, Florence; Staatliche Museen,
Berlin; Witty,

Sunbury-on-Thames.

Black and white illustrations: Rizzoli archives, Milan;
Emmer, Venice; Ferruzzi, Venice; Fiorent; ini, Venice;
National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin; Rossi, Venice;

Soprintendenza

alle Gallerie,

Naples.

Introduction

>. *•

undeniable facts concerning Giorgione
could be contained without congestion on a postcard,
and his surviving output is confined to a mere handful
of pictures, most of them fairly small. Why, then, all
the fuss? What accounts for the fame and the legend?
Some of it, undoubtedly, springs from the very rarity
of his pictures, and a great deal from the highly
romantic image - the early death, and the fact that it
was due to the plague said to have been caught from
a lady friend. Something, again, is due to the romantic

The

solid,

quahty inherent

in the paintings themselves

- the

fact

cases they depict mysterious and enigmatic subjects which have hitherto defied elucidation.

that in

some

all this fails to add up to a total explanation, and
the residue must surely be made up from the quality
of the pictures themselves. Giorgione happened to live

But

magic moment in Italian and Venetian
ideas about Nature and God and
Antiquity, and man's relation to them, were being

and work
art,

at a

when new

discussed just

when

several generations of technical

power of illustratamong others, was the Tempest,

advance had given painters the

full

ing them. The result,
the quintessential Giorgione.
The high quality of Giorgione's work, combined
with the fact of his early death - irrespective of the

exact circumstances in which it may have occurred should have suflficed to start the legend. It did, indeed,
emerge very soon. The demand for his work, for one
thing, was always great. Immediately after Giorgione's
death Isabella d'Este tried to get one of his pictures no matter which - and even she was unable to do so.
And as early as 1528 Giorgione is referred to by
Castiglione in the same breath as Leonardo, Raphael
and Michelangelo. There is also some evidence that
within a few more years Giorgione's work was already
being forged - a sure sign of esteem. In the next
century - the seventeenth - the clothes of the lovers or
music-makers in pictures by Giorgione, or attributed
to him, started a fashion in costume - "alia Giorgion-

esca" - which is met with in some of the early works
of Caravaggio, and by this time, too, Giorgione had
risen sufficiently high in the connoisseurs' canon to be
endowed with a fictitious noble ancestry. Also in the

seventeenth century the legend of Giorgione became
linked with that of another and very different shorthved genius. This was Gaston de Foix, the brilliant
French general who was killed in his hour of victory at
the Battle of Ravenna in 1512, aged twenty-three. It
is in the highest degree unlikely that Giorgione could
ever have met him, and in any case Gaston's fame
sprang principally from the circumstances of his
death - which occurred two years after Giorgione's.
pictures called "Gaston de Foix by
Giorgione" proliferated in the seventeenth century
and changed hands at high prices. Such is the persuasive power of the romantic imagination.
This and other picturesque embroideries succeeded
to such an extent in obscuring both the real personality
of Giorgione (of which, in fact, very little can be
deduced) and the real authorship of most of the

Nevertheless

pictures optimistically attributed to him that when, in
the late nineteenth century, methodical connoisseurship at last set to work to sift the true from the false it

found itself faced with one of the most difficult
problems in the history of art. Until about forty years
ago the most reliable guide was the diary of Marcantonio Michiel, which described a number of pictures
as by Giorgione, one of which was probably the Three
Philosophers (Vienna) and another possibly, but less
certainly, the Tempest. Even this diary dated from
fifteen years and more after Giorgione's death - by
which time some degree of confusion had already set
in — while other famous works, such as the Castelfranco
altarpiece [Catalogue, n.12) could be traced back no
farther then the mid-seventeenth centur)'.
But in 1 93 1 the inscription on the back of the small
portrait called Laura (Vienna: n. 13) was first published in facsimile

and

discussed,

and

this,

giving a

precise attribution (which seemed absolutely contemporary) to Giorgione, as well as a date - 1506 provided at last a solid foundation for style criticism.
Every one of the characteristics of the Laura was now
studied attentively - the crisp touch, whereby the
highlights were added to the leaves round the lady's
head, the angle of the face, the rich contrasts of colour
and texture. Above all, the small scale. The hard core
which now emerged as generally acceptable and
accepted - the Three Philosophers, the Tempest, the
Laura itself, the Berlin Boy, the Washington Nativity
and Holy Family, the National Gallery Adoration, and,
on a slightly larger, but still not large scale, the
Leningrad Judith and the Castelfranco altarpiece now seemed to show a considerable homogeneity. A
few others such as the so-called Tramonto (National
Gallery) - which was not discovered until shortly after
the publication of the Laura inscription - now muscled
in, among them the portrait of a hideous old woman
inscribed Col Tempo (Venice, Accademia; n. 20)
which Berenson, fancifully but brilliantly, imagined
as Giorgione's warning to the young lady of the
Tempest (so similar in cast of countenance) of what old
age would do to her - particularly if she continued to
reject his advances.

The problem now
pictures such as these

shifted.

If the authorship of

was now more or

less

established

on the strength of the Laura inscription they must also
be linked with it to some extent as regards date - 1 506.
And Giorgione still had another four years of life after
this. What did he do with them? There were official
contracts, but we are in no position to judge the result.
In one case - the frescoes on the Fondaco dei Tedeschi
in Venice (1508) - Giorgione's work has perished
except for a ruined fragment. Of the other - a picture
for the Doge's Palace (1507-8) - nothing definite is
known, though it has been suggested that Giorgione's
picture

may

be the Judgement of Solomon,

now

at

Kingston Lacy. What would Giorgione's style have
been like at this stage of his life ? Here a most revealing
remark dropped by Vasari in his life of Titian seemed
to give a clue. According to this, it was "about the
year 1507" that Giorgione remodelled his style from a
dry to a broader method of painting. From this alone
we might expect that the "later" Giorgione would
fade almost imperceptibly into the earlier style of
Titian and others, and such is likely to have been the
case. The resulting confusion needs no emphasis, and
has been greatly increased by the implications of
statements bv several of the earlv writers, to the effect

which Giorgione had left un*
were completed by Titian or by
the young Sebastiano del Piombo. In this category are
probably the Dresden Venus, perhaps (but in that case
only minimally) the Three Philosophers, perhaps the
Fete Champetre (Louvre; n. 35) and perhaps the high
altar of S. Giovanni Crisostomo, Venice. With the
exception of the Venus, the hne of demarcation in these
that certain pictures
finished at his death

works, if it exists at all, is almost inscrutable, so the
"later" Giorgione - that is, his output between 1506

and

1

510 -

The

is still

in dispute.

fact that in the surviving

documents Giorgione

described as a native of Castelfranco, that as early as
1506 (the earliest documentary reference) he was
evidently settled in Venice, where he enjoyed a brief
period of success, and where he died, four years later,
is

an outline of a career. The accident of
even - happening to a provincial
youth is enough to explain the change of residence. By
a certain date the modest resources of the city of
Castelfranco - some twenty-five miles from Venice were no longer sufficient to contain the aspirations of
the young artist. And though it would be possible that
the Castelfranco altar was sent back there from Venice
it would be more likely to have been painted while
Giorgione was still living there and could get local
credit from it, and therefore to represent his "early"
manner - distinct both from the undefined "late"
style and from the "middle period", namely the
pictures grouped round the Laura of 1506.
gives at least

talent - of genius,

The picture (n.12) is already strikingly original
when compared with works which preceded it - by
Cima or even Giovanni Bellini himself The figures in
it do not "overlap" at all. They are much smaller in
relation to the size of the picture than was normal. The
standing saints are thus farther from each other and
the Madonna entirely above both of them. The object
of this was evidently to leave more space for the
landscape background - a strange and illogical feature,

any

case, to include behind a throne, but destined
be the cardinal element in the Giorgionesque
repertory. The interplay of figures and landscape,
with the two co-ordinated rather than with one
subordinate to the other, was to be Giorgione's permanent theme, and that ol the early Titian, the early
Sebastiano, Palma Vecchio and the others who
followed them.
In the Castelfranco altarpiece, as indeed in any
formal work, such an interest could hardly find its
fullest expression, and it is surprising that Giorgione

in

to

temporary, was unable to

than that of the Tempest, is still
decidedly dream-like - the dream of every young man
of finding a beautiful girl naked, asleep and unprotected. But something in the pose, relaxed but completely confident, communicates the idea of a goddess
and not just of an ordinary mortal. To test this we have
only to compare her with Manet's Olympia (Louvre)
who is shown in the same pose. And even Titian's
so-called Venus of Urbino (Uffizi) of only a few decades

much

later, is

to infuse as

not sure of the subject in either case. Vasari went so
to suggest that Giorgione's frescoes on the
Fondaco dei Tedeschi represented no subject, and
even if he were wrong, the fact that he, a near-con-

far as

the

same

thing.

tell what it was amounts to
So with the Three Philosophers

and the Tempest the painter seems content to use the
totality of the figures and the landscape to express a
mood,

a

dream

sensibility

state,

could

though

much

of his Hovelty into it as he
in smaller and more informal pictures, such
as the fliree Philosophers or the Tempest, Giorgione's
poetic vein had full scope. Characteristically, we are

was able
did. But

where

create

his

things

imagination and his
of timeless beauty

unhampered by considerations of precise illustration.
For the controversial final phase, the Dresden Venus
- though its documentary authenticity is more than
shaky - is perhaps a safer guide than the other candidates. It probably is the picture which Giorgione is
said to have started and in which Titian is said to have
finished the landscape and the Cupid (the remains of
the latter were uncovered in the nineteenth century
and then painted over again). The more insistent
mystery of the Tempest is no longer present, and the
prominence of the landscape, at least in the picture's
present state, has been reduced in favour of the dominance of the figure (we may well wonder, though, if
this was not Titian's doing also: did he perhaps cut
down some of the area reserved by Giorgione for the
landscape?)
Despite the increased grandeur of the result - when
compared with the informality of the Tempest - the
Venus retains an impression of the mysterious for
reasons which are difficult to pin down. The theme.

.

less fantastic

already halfway to mortality.
In default of a sufficient body of authentic works of
Giorgione's last years we may most easily gauge his
impact by studying the work of his immediate followers. One of the closest of them, it is true - Sebastiano
del Piombo - defaulted to Rome soon after Giorgione's

death and changed his style when he got there. But
Palma Vecchio continued in the Giorgionesque manner throughout his career, and it indelibly marked the
sixty glorious years of worldly success which Titian

was to enjoy after Giorgione's death. Though his style
underwent repeated modifications and transformations, and ended, at least as regards his method of
handling pigment, totally unrecognisable from that of
his beginnings, Titian

the

theme of

always retained a fondness for

figures romantically setting off,

and

set

off by, a lyrical landscape. And through him - more
of necessity than directly through Giorgione's own

few surviving pictures - something of the Giorgiones-

que tradition was handed down to Poussin and Rubens
and other disparate talents in the seventeenth century,
to Watteau and to innumerable painters of the
Picturesque in the eighteenth, and to Manet, Cezanne

and others within a century of our own

time.

Cecil

Gould

An

outline of the artist's critical history

». *"

Facts concerning Giorgione's biography, his artistic development,
his followers and even his imitators are intimately connected,

both with each other and with the growing or decrease of his
renown. We have dealt separately with the above subjects but we
must also make a comprehensive survey in order not to confuse
by repetition and cross references the unwieldly panoramic view
of the master's art. Such an essay is given in an introduction to
the Catalogue of Giorgione's works (pages 85-86).

Leonardo da Vinci, Mantegna, Raphael, Michelangelo and
Georgio da Castelfranco are all most excellent painters, yet they
are very unlike each other in their style. No one of them revealed
any lack of quality in the work he achieved, for everybody knows
each was perfect in his own way.
B,

.

.

.

Castiglione,

//

coTUgiano, 1528

Giorgio da Castelfranco ... a highly esteemed painter
is as worthy of honor as are the ancient masters.

.

.

composition and develop the invention should first make many
different sketches on paper in order to be able to judge the whole.
G. Vasaki, Lt

viu, 1568'

At the same time that Leonardo was bringing fame to Florence,
Giorgione da Castel Franco in the district of Treviso, being equal
in excellence, was making the name of Venice famous. He was
brought up in Venice and devoted himself with so much concentration to art that in painting he surpassed Giovanni and
Gentile Bellini and gave such vitality to his figures that they
seemed

to live.
'R.

BORGHIM,

II

RipOSa. 1584

Giorgione da Castelfranco was most skilful in painting fish in
and fruit and anything he wished with the most
marvellous art.

clear water, trees

G.

.

P.

LoMAZzo.

Tratlalo deiV aru deila pittma,

1584

and he

P-

Pino, Dtalogo

dt pttlura,

1548

Giorgione, you were the first to learn how to create marvels in
and as long as the world and mankind exist your name
will be on men's lips.
Until your time other painters have made statues, whereas you
painting;

Giorgio da Castelfranco ... a highly esteemed painter
are seen certain very lively oil paintings with contours
so gradually fading into the background that no shadows are
apparent.
.

by

.

.

.

.

.

whom

L.

Dolce,

Dtalogo detla pttlura, 1557

Giorgione had seen some things by the hand of Leonardo da
Vinci with delicately blended colours and contours heavily
darkened by shadows as has been said. This manner pleased him
so much that, as long as he lived, he always pursued it and
imitated it in his oil paintings. As he took much pleasure in good
work, he always chose the most beautiful and varied objects he
could find. Nature gave him such a sweet disposition that in his
oil paintings and frescoes he made both very lively things and
others which were soft and harmonious with carefully blended
shadows, so that many of the excellent masters of the time
confessed that he had been born to put life into figures and to
counterfeit the freshness of living flesh better than any other
painter, not only in Venice, but throughout the world.
... by about 1507, Giorgione da Castelfranco had begun to
show a greater softness and depth in his work in a wonderful manner, while at the same time portraying living and natural things,
by counterfeiting skilfully with colour and by painting sharp and
soft shadows as the living thing showed. He made no drawings
for he firmly believed that the best and true way of creating a
picture was by painting alone and by the use of colour. He did not
realise that he who wishes to arrange the various elements of a

have fashioned living beings and have infused them with life by
your colours.
I do not say that Leonardo is not the God of Tuscany: but
Giorgione also walks the Venetian path to eternal glory.

M

BoscHiM, La

carta del navfgar ptloresco.

In painting he used soft brush strokes such as were
in the past

the illusion

:

1660

unknown

and one must confess that in his painting he created
of flesh and blood but with an easy, mellow touch so
;

one can hardly speak of pictorial counterfeit but of natural
truth; because in blurring the contours (even Nature can dazzle)
in placing light and half-shadows, in the reds, in lessening and
increasing the strength of the colours he created such a charming
and true harmony that one must call his work painted Nature or
that

naturalised painting. The ideas of this Painter are all solemn,
majesticand worthy of respect, in keeping indeed with his nameGiorgione, and that is why his genius turned towards solemn
figures wearing caps ornamented with strange plumes, dressed
as in the past with shirts showing beneath their tunics and those
sleeves puffing out from slits, breeches in the style of Giovanni
Bellini, but of better cut the materials of silk, velvet, damask and
satins striped with wide bands other figures wear suits of armour
polished like mirrors. This was the true conception of human
:

;

actions.

M. BoscHtNi,

Lf

rrcchf

mimre

ditto pittura pntrziatut,

1674

Everyone knows that Giorgio, or Giorgione da Castelfranco,
was the first amongst us to liberate painting from the restrictions
prevailing in his day. He gave it the genuine character of art. By
allowing genius free play he departed from the narrow track of
simple reason, which governs only science; he added to solid
knowledge, arbitrary caprice and fantasy in order to delight and
charm. No sooner had he mastered the first principles than he
began to be aware of the greatness of his own genius, which being
full of fire and a certain natural violence, enabled him to soar
above early timidity and to give life to painted figures which had
lacked it in the past. In his hands colour acquired a subtlety which
was admirably suited to portraying the bloom of living flesh. He
gave to what he painted a new roundness and strength and
through the liveliness of his spirit he achieved a skill which had
He gave light to shadows
not been seen in painting before
which in reality appear rather sharp and above all he knew how
to use dark masses, sometimes most ingeniously giving them more
intensity than in nature; and sometimes making them softer and
more cheerful by blurring the contours so that the areas formed
by the masses were visible and yet not visible. Thus everyone
could see the greatness of his style although what caused it was
understood by few.
;

.

A.

.

wooded

vales,

J-A.

.

.

.

He

the time

when he was

is

Crowe

-

all

M. Zanetti.

Delia plllura vfne^iana. 1771

a pupil of Bellini, guided

G.B. Cavalcaselle, A

History a/ Pamling

m Sorth

llaty.'iS'Ji

movable pictures

of devotion, nor for allegorical or
historic teaching - little groups of real men and women, amid
congruous furniture or landscape - morsels of actual Ufe, conversation or music or play, but refined upon or idealised, till
they come to seem like glimpses of life from afar ... he is typical
of that aspiration of all the arts towards music, which I have
endeavoured to explain, - towards the perfect identification of
for uses

matter and form.
W. Pater.

Tkf School of Giorgione, 1877

Giorgione did not display all his powers until the last six years
life, that is from 1504 until about 151 1. In the few
works which have come down to us
his original and eminently
poetic genius shines with such purity, his simple and straightforward artistic disposition speaks to us so forcibly and with so
much charm that no one who has ever contemplated it can ever
forget it. No other painter can so easily entrance us, captivate
our minds for hours together; even though often we have not the

of his short

.

by the

:

painting [things] in the distance.
continued to develop his style by amplifying his contours,
by introducing new perspectives, and livelier ideas in facial
expression and gesture, by more carefully chosen drapery and
other accessories, by softer and more natural gradations from one
shade to another and finally by giving much more effect by
skilful in

He

chiaroscuro.

.

.

of what the figures in his picture mean.
I. Lermoheff iG. Morellii, Die Werke tlalientscher

.Meister,

1880

life was short, and very few of his works - not a
- have escaped destruction. But these suflnce to give
us a glimpse into that brief moment when the Renaissance found
Its over-boisterous
its most genuine expression in painting.
passions had quieted down into a sincere appreciation of beauty
and of human relations. It would be really hard to say more about
Giorgione than this, that his pictures are the perfect reflex of the
Renaissance at its height.

Giorgione's

score in

all

B.

Berenson, The

Venetian Painters oj the Renaissance. 1894

contemplate Giorgione as reigning supreme on immortal
I cannot recognise him as a human being; I seek him
in the mystery of the fiery cloud that envelops him. He is more like
a myth than a man. No poet's destiny can be compared with his.
All, or almost all, about him is unknown: and some have even
denied that he ever lived. His name is written on no work and no
work is attributed to him with certainty. Yet the whole of
Venetian art seems to have caught fire from his revelation. The
great Titian himself appears to have received from him the
secret of infusing a stream of luminous blood into the veins of the
beings he creates.
I

L.

Lanzi,

StoTta pitloTtca della Italia,

1795-6

Giorgione was certainly a great painter and even one of the
produced and yet one cannot
deny that there is a certain kind of greatness that eluded him:
but outside this field
ideal asceticism had no appeal for him
he was the shaper of a revolution which embraced all branches
of art and he gave an unmistakable character to all that came
from his vigorous brush.
greatest that the Renaissance

;

.

.

.

A. F. 9.1a, Di

I'art

chrflim. li^^l

heights but

G. D'Annunzio.

supposing that Giorgione was the first
of the modern Venetians to follow the footsteps of Bellini, and
give importance to landscapes. If we believe traditions which live
to our day. there was no one like him at the close of the 15th
century for producing park scenery, no one who came near him
in the chastened elegance of the figures with which this scenery
was enlivened. The country which he knew had not the rocky
character nor had it the giddy heights of that which Titian found
at Cadore. It had no dolomites to spread their jagged edges on
the pure horizon but it had its elms and cypresses, its vines and

There seems reason

its

hazels

tl/uoeo, 1898

for

:

10

these^

.

awareness of his powers, he scorned preoccupation with petty
detail and substituted for it a certain freedom, a studied carelessness, which is the essence of art and of which he can be called the
inventor no one before him had known that manner of handling
the brush, so resolute, so deft in conveying an impression, so

mulberries,

in

but defied repetition.

the inventor of genre, of those easily

which serve neither

least idea

From

farm buildings and battlements: and

there was a variety which

and poplars,

its

charming undulations.

At a period when there was perfect harmony in the expression
of religious ideals between faith and naturalistic obser\'ation, he
brought about a realistic revolution by enlarging the circle of his
observation, by concentrating on nature the love inherent in him,

and by

his

eagerness for

life.

Therefore he brought to the interpretation of reality elements
which had escaped the most acute observers, because he looked
down from a world of fantasy and from this altitude he was able to
embrace with his glance a vaster horizon. He did not descend
and lose himself in realitv, nor did he remain shut in in a fantasy

world: his spirit continued to hover between the necessity of
raising nature to his own height and the necessity of abandoning
himself t^ fiature. Hence a two-fold achievement of realistic
reform and the expression of a new state of mind.
The penetrating and profound sensitivity of the young
artist from Castelfranco enabled him to enjoy reality, to study it,
to interpret it, to surrender himself to the joy of living. For a
short time. Then he felt compelled to make spirit apparent and
.

.

.

abandons. The strength of religious
sentiment having grown weak, cultivated men turned to scepticism. Giorgione could not return to the past, nor could he adapt
himself to the present and not knowing how to give shape to the
to return to the religious

;

to creating dreams full of
no longer be found.
A balance between the new and the old was beyond his power
as an ardst, but his desire to achieve it was keen, almost morbid.

new conceptions he confined himself

nostalgia for that which could

In

this resides the fascination

of his art.
L,

Venturi, GwTgwru!

e il

siOTgiontimo, 1913

theme of the picture The Tempest,
it causes man to become part of
nature, makes him vibrate with it, become one with it or lose
himself in it, according to a concept of the return to nature which
is the basis of modern art. And as these words are here expressed

Whatever may be

the impression

it

the precise

gives us

is

this:

first time with the virginal fragrance of ideas
flowering from the souls of poets, the power of suggestion of such

in painting for the

work

a

absolute.

is

is Giorgione's most personal work, the one best
expressing his state of mind when confronted with nature; not
only because of the unusual pictorial concept which has seemed
so mysterious, but also for the treatment of the pictorial matter.
In this picture outlines are dissolved in every movement, they
adapt themselves to the fantasy of the artist and to the reality of

The

Tempest

nature transfigured by that fantasy there is a condnual vibration
of lines, not understood as contours but as waves in motion,
achieved by the adaptation of tone with tone, by the liquidity of
the chosen range of colours - from yellow ochre to light red, from
;

pale green to dark blue and deep emerald

uncertainty of his craftsmanship is
little Giorgione owes to the Venetian school. Even in the Castelfranco altarpiece, whose three figures, in spite of everything
derive from Bellini's iconographical material, Giorgione's faces
and drapery are those of an artist who, through ignorance or
contempt, chooses to lose himself in his own innovations rather
than follow the beaten track. A face, a fold, a hand, present

The

which an ordinary craftsman learnt to overcome: but
not certain that Giorgione can be described as such a craftsman. Except in some problems for which he had found the
soludon - a rock, foliage and above all some feminine faces

difficulties
it is

Giorgione reveals a technique more curious than strictly accurate.
His weaknesses give him the reputation of being independent,

and

this

has certainly done

him no harm

in the eyes of the

.

.

The
its

art of Giorgione

aesthetic interests
first

its

appearance

is

and

certainly

its

gave

it

figurative interpretadons

complex

in its

cultural values, so

and

rise

to

Gtorgtone, 1942

development,
so that from

much

many and

contradictory

to a multiplicity of reactions in

the field of art history. Giorgione's style is not so exclusive in
character as that of Tintoretto or Carpaccio: from a nucleus of
inspiration narrowly confined by colour and fight, that is to say
the tone of the picture, spring ever new outbursts of fantasy

spreading over different planes. Giorgione's cultural alertness,
pardcipation in all the interests of his day, possesses the
gift, proper to genius, of transforming itself by a purely imaginadve and lyrical process into a perfect work of art. The practical
his lively

of his naturally responsive sensiti\ity is to sever the chains
of fifteenth-century traditional iconography, whether religious or
profane. A new mythology of figurative representation is born
with Giorgione in which man is in contact with nature in such a
way that the latter sometimes dares to assume the role of protagonist; a new dignity enriches the psychology of his human
beings who, in their isoladon, are invested with a new profundity
The revolution he brought about in the world of art lay not
only in the transformadon of objects but in a complete renewal
result

moderns.

There are two motifs in which clearly he seems to have been
an innovator: in landscape and nudes, and in the relation of
nudes and landscape. The most beautiful of all his landscapes is
that showing a new and convincing vision of the Castelfranco
walls growing pale in the light of a thunderstorm. The ardst who
was capable of conveying such an impression is one of those
painter-poets who have added the beauty of painting to the poetry
of nature.
L.

HouRTicQ, Lf pmblime

de Giorgione, 1930

.

.

.

of figurative sensibility.
R. Pallucchini, La

Giorgione
painting; his

and of world
an essential
both heaven and

is

the spring-time of Venetian art

is

the important mastery of colour as

means of expression, he is the whole of painting,
him art, having come to maturity through almost a
century of experience, has become self-conscious. Having outgrown Bellini's pedantry and mastered and improved painting

earth; in

in the best

.

A. MoRASSi,

a further proof of how

Antonello tradition, even the background, undl then

the inert spectator of pictorial events previously devoted to
figures and landscape, becomes atmosphere; that is to say one of
the essential components of painting; an element in the artistic
drama, of the same importance as any other. All the components
of the picture have their position those significant components
which are at the base of our expression and our sensibility.

futtura veniziana del Cinguecento,

1944

Having introduced in the Three Philosophers and the Dona
Rose Tramonto ... the first accents of chromaUc classicism,
soon after to be developed by the young Titian, Giorgione gives
.

.

.

dalle

himself up to painting his half-length figures in colour without
making any preliminary sketches and creates the sensual
naturalism in his portraits which gives an impression of action,
as in the Self-Portrait as David, the Warrior whose Page

is

Buckling on

Armour and similar portraits which must have existed and
belonged to the last months of his life. These were almost modern
works, approaching Caravaggio, Velazquez and Manet.
his

R. LoNGHi,

Viatico per cinijue secoli di fiittura Kneziana,

1946

;

G. Fiocco,

GtoTgtone, 1941

.

.

.

When one remembers that almost all Giorgione's work was

carried out in

less

than ten vears, the marvellous difference

//

between purpose and technique seems
It is for this

reason that

modern

...

the greater.

all

criticism has tried to attribute

several of his pictures to different artists: Titian, Sebastiano del

Piombo, Palma and others who are nameless. The attribution to
Titian of late works by Giorgione can be upheld on purely
technical grounds but not on those of expression. Sebastiano del

Piombo and Palma must be excluded on

the

same grounds and

We are too famihar with the activity of

with greater justification.

Venetian painters at the beginning of the sixteenth century to
suppose a nameless artist capable of creating pictures of such
worth as those attributed to Giorgione.
It only remains to say that the diversity in Giorgione's work is
inherent in his style. Starting from the taste of masters such as
Bellini and Carpaccio he proceeded uncertainly in several
directions, both towards linear purity and a painterly touch,
covering as much ground in a few years as had Venetian painting
in a century, experimenting with everything from time to time
except his way of feeling which is constant. One cannot say that
Giorgione was more a poet than a painter, only that, because he
was more of a poet than other artists, he created a new pictorial
civilisation

and

a

new

vision of the world.

man between

Nor is it surprising

realise

important figurative
novelties. Immersed in the vibrant atmosphere of nature, rtot
designed as a perspective decoration as in fifteenth-century paintings but existing as coloured space, the figures move with the
sureness foreshadowing the development from the Three Philosophers to the frescoes of the Fondaco dei Tedeschi. Colour in this
new movement of forms naturally dominates. But it is no longer
understood as filling in the superficial limits imposed by contours
and plastic planes, but spreads in a new spatiality, having the
same characteristics as the free verse of the sixteenth century.
What had been a premature discovery by Giovanni Bellini and
Antonello, and perhaps above all by Carpaccio - that is, the
is

allied to

atmospheric value of colour understood in
variations - becomes the

its

continual tonal

means of expression

in

Giorgione's

style in the Castelfranco altarpiece.

This is his extraordinary fascination, like a base melody
of musical chords, overcoming all fifteenth-century grammar
which, henceforward, seemed conventional even to those who
invented it.

that

and thirty, in achieving this
miracle, should have had moments of uncertainty, of feeling
thrown in on himself, of sudden moods and of weariness.
Only by discarding traditional ways of stylistic criticism can
one reach any understanding of Giorgione's personality and
a young

In this important work [the Castelfranco altarpiece],

youthful freshness of invention

T- PlGNATTl,

GlOTgtOrte,

1955

twenty-five

how he learnt from Leonardo, perhaps from Raphael, and,

same time, from Hieronymus Bosch and had shared in the
philosophical culture of his day and in the manner of feeling
at the

;

nature expressed by such poets as Giovanni Pontano, Giovanni
Cotta and Jacopo Sannazzaro.
L.

Venturi,

Otorgtnne, 1954

Entrance without fear or hindrance into the world of nature

and the world of human spirit his approach, I might almost say
abandonment, to a contemplative vision of the whole universe,
this is Giorgione's achievement. That he portrayed this world in
pictures vibrant with light, trembling and alive, is the painter's
second gift to us. To answer the question, therefore, as to whether
Giorgione be truly great, as his contemporaries had known
instinctively and as has always been accepted, one must say that
;

is even greater than has always been held. It is true that his
works are few, and some are uncertain as to their authorship;
and it is true that discussions about them will continue and will
go on perhaps for ever. But one thing is certain he has thrown
open doors on to a pictorial world which is more completely ours.

he

:

That intimate concentration on individual figures, that
suspension of all movement, that silence, all are expressions of
artist in his early

work searches

for

The

p.

exuberant
movement, eloquent gestures,

Giorgione's feeling in contrast to Titian's.

.

.

.

harmony of rich and

intense

colours.
C.

Gamba,

//

mto Giorgione in

"Ane

Vencia", 1954

The secret of Giorgione - to which so much mystery and secrets
are attributed - is simply that he saw the whole spectacle of the
world as a "non-tangible", but exclusively "visible distance",
and he reduced all representation to "pure colour". Painting then
becomes genuinely and exclusively "painting"; that is to say it
gives up all claim to emulate or simulate sculpture or, worse

.

lifetime. It

is

the logical consequence of the

Colour and movement have
them (Vasari emphasised the skill in conveying
by painting almost the breath of life and the warmth of flesh)
to the illusive imitation of nature.
for

is

still

a three-dimensional repre-

sentation.
L.

12

CoLETTt,

GioTgiont. 1955

ground he wished
if it appeared

cover, of his lofty vision of an artist's ideal, even

to
to

contemporaries as "novel". In this sense the fragment in the
.Accademia is more than a proof It constitutes the certainty that
a break came in tradition and that a decisive turn was given
towards the conquest of modern art. With the sureness of genius
Giorgione resolved in the "grand manner" the most serious of
his problems which he shared with Michelangelo: the vision of
man dominating nature, even if man, in his turn, is the prisoner
of a destiny full of sorrow.
his

to oflTer an equivalent, rather than an image, of reality; it
thus overcomes the ambiguity of Renaissance artists in regard

but their principal objective

\'encta", 1955

.

P.

still,

some value

Posltlle alia mostra di Giorgione. in ".Arte

What we can try to reconstruct in this final example of
Giorgione's art [the Nude from the Fondaco dei Tedeschi in the
Accademia in Venice], is decisive not only for the last phase of
his painting but for the influence he had in and beyond his
.

models from ordinary people, over-elaborate draper)', the play
of light - if not from other sources - from passing clouds, and
crowded compositions
With Giorgione calm reigns, spiritual
concentration, a sense of space, the

Zampetti,

latter

Della Pergola,

Giorgione, 19=^7

Verv often an effort is made to sec in Giorgione's paintings the
development of a story which in reality does not exist or is merely
The truth is that Giorgione's art shows that
put in as a pretext
decrease in the importance of the subject in favour of artistic
expression which anticipates modern art.
.

.

.

L. Venti'ri. Giorgione, in "Encicloprdia Univcraalc

dcirAnr". VII. 1958

,

Note on the Giorgionesque

Here are some brief notes on painters who, at least for a time,
worked in Giorgione's style (some works by them have been
attributed trfthe master, as is shown in the Catalogue) There were
certainly other artists as well whose names have remained
.

unknown.

with genuine classicism. In paintings such as the Madonna and
Child in the Rijksmuseum of Amsterdam, or in the oval paintings
Endymion Asleep and Apollo and Marsyas in the National Gallery
of Parma he reveals affinities with Giorgione. These are clear
although difficult to explain in the sense that one cannot be
certain whether Giorgione influenced his
whether it was the other

Coletti thinks, or

1565).

spell

One
Paris Bokdone

(Treviso,

1500 - Venice, 1571). Probably a
influenced by Giorgione's example

pupil of Titian's but much
even after the first half of the century. Among his most significant
and justly well-known works is the so-called Venetian Lovers in the
Brera Gallery in Milan, where - as in some portraits - a mysterious

and melancholy atmosphere predominates, an

intimate tone,

accord with that of the master.
Giovanni Bust called Cariani (Venice, 1480-1490 - some
documents refer to him after 1547). If in early works such as the
fully in

Madonna and St Sebastian in the Louvre he seems to borrow directly
from Giovanni Bellini, and in other respects to resemble Palma
Vecchio, he latershows himself influenced above all by Giorgione.
Thus, in the Lovers in the Palazzo Venezia in Rome he takes up
the theme of the Fete Champetre (n. 35) and he appears even more
noticeably Giorgionesque in the Lute Player, one of his more
psychologically penetrating portraits, in the Musee des BeauxArts in Strasbourg, in which his stylistic resemblance to
;

almost complete.
GiULio Campagnola (Padua, 1482-1515?). A painter, but
better known as an engraver, to whom we owe the discovery of
the "pricking" technique (the so-called pointillee au maillet), by
which atmospheric tonal nuances similar to those obtained by
Giorgione in painting can be transferred on to a metal plate.

Giorgione

is

Having been brought up

in

Padua

in

Mantegna's

circle

and

he must have been strongly
attracted to the style introduced by Giorgione. This is shown by
the manner in which Campagnola painted the three Stones oj the
Madonna in the Paduan Scuola del Carmine or the Youth Playing a
Musical Instrument in the Thyssen Collection in Lugano. But it is
in Campagnola's engravings that Giorgione's influence is most
apparent, and in these it determined not only his technique but

having moved

to

Venice

in 1507,

his choice of subject.

ViNCENZO Catena

(Venetian?, documented from 1495 to
he reacted to Giovanni Bellini and Cima da
Conegliano; then to Giorgione who became his friend and
1

At

531).

first

collaborator (the inscription on the reverse of Laura in Vienna
[Catalogue, n. 13] suggests this). He followed Giorgione closely for
a considerable time, from his Judith in the Querini Stampalia
Foundation in Venice (1500- 1502) to the Martyrdom oJ St
Christina in the

same

city (1520).

GiambattistaCima called CiMADA Conegliano (Conegliano
Veneto, c. 1459- Venice, c. 1518). From his master, Bartolomeo
Montagna, he acquired the gift of clear luminous modelling as
seen in the Madonna della Pergola in the Museo Civico of Vicenza
(1489)

;

then, working in Venice from 1492, he turned his atten-

da Messina and Giovanni Bellini, to whom he
chromatic texture and the more
balanced compositions in which he portrayed visions permeated

tion to Antonello

owed

a

more

softly integrated

as

c. 1489 -Venice,
Venice and fell under the
of its painters, in particular Giorgione and Palma Vecchio.
is conscious of the former's influence above all in the pre-

Bernardino LiciNio
c.

young colleague,

way round.

When

still

(Poscante [Bergamo]?,

young he went

to

Museo Civico, Vicenza),
Portrait of Ettore Fteramosca
attributed for a long time to the master himself; while in allegories
of classical type, such as that in the Kress Foundation of New
York, he shows Palma's influence. Towards the end of his life his
sumed

f

manner hardened and he expressed himself consistently in heavy,
dead colours, as in the Madonna in the Frari in Venice.
Sebastiano Luciani called Sebastiano Veneziano and
Sebastiano del Piombo (Venice, c. 1485 - Rome, 1547)- In
his youth, with his companion Titian, he was very close to
Giorgione, so much so that works begun by the master and left
unfinished at his death were entrusted to him and also to Titian
to be finished. This was the case - according to Michiel - with
the Three Philosophers now in Vienna (n. 17). In regard to the
altarpiece in S. Giovanni Crisostomo in Venice [c. 1509) Vasari
states that the figures of the saints "had in them so much of
Giorgione's manner that they were often taken to be by Giorgione
himself".

Giovanni Luteri

called

Dosso Dossi

(Ferrara,

c.

1479 -

c. 1542). In all probability a pupil of his fellow citizen Lorenzo
Costa, he formed himself on the study of Venetian paintings. He

was probably familiar with those of Titian while working in
Mantua in 151 2 and with those of Giorgione (Titian himself may
have suggested that he study Giorgione's work) when from 1516
he was in the service of Alfonso d'Este in Ferrara. Among his
paintings most closely resembling those of the two Venetian
artists the Nymph Pursued by a Satyr in the Pitti in Florence may be
mentioned and the Bacchanal in the Castle of St Angelo in Rome.
Later, perhaps during a visit to Rome, he was influenced by the
classicism of Raphael.

Morto da Feltre

(working from
unul 1527). According to Vasari
he helped Giorgione with the work for the Fondaco dei Tedeschi
(1508) certainly he shows contacts (not necessarily direct) with

Lorenzo Luzzo

the

end of the

called II

fifteenth century

:

a Giorgionesque idiom in the altarpiece now in Berlin (Staatliche
Museen), in a work in the parish church of Villabruna, and in
the Apparition oJ Christ to Two Saints in the Ognissanti church in
Feltre, although in the latter the greater breadth in the forms and
in the

chromatic texture reveals a keen interest

in

Raphael's

painting.

DoMENico Mancini

(from Treviso?, first half of the sixteenth
a documentary' point of view he is known
exclusively in connection with a painting signed and dated 1 5 11
and evidently derived from Giovanni Bellini - the Madonna in the
century).

Duomo

From

at Lendinara.

In other paintings, such as the Music
Museum in \'ienna or the Two

Player in the Kunsthistorisches

Young Men in the Palazzo Venezia in
very close follower of Giorgione.

Rome, he seems

"Master of the Self-Portraits". Wilde

to

be a

[1933] says he

is

13

the author of pictures such as the Musician in the Kunsthisto-

Museum

Vienna, but this is more likely to be by
Domenico Mancini in his most Giorgionesque phase; Wilde
thinks, however, that the "Master of the Self-Portraits'" might
be identified with a certain Domenico da Venezia, who is distinct
from Mancini.
"Master of the Idylls". According to Wilde [1933], he is the
author of works such as the Lovers in the Palazzo Venezia in
Rome, but this is more likely to be by Cariani at his most
Giorgionesque. Wilde thinks that this unknown painter could
perhaps be Mancini.
risches

in

PiETRO MuTTONi Called PiETRO Vecchia or Bella (Dalla)
Vecchia (Venice, 603-1 678) He owes this curious name to his
1

.

cleverness in imitating old pictures. It
the cleaning,

among

is

said that he arranged for

other paintings, of Giorgione's altarpiece

Castelfranco (n. 12). It is worthwhile giving the following
quotation from Boschini [1664] "To the glory of Giorgione and
of Pietro Vecchia, a contemporary Venetian painter, and to the
intelligent understanding of amateurs, I must say that they
should have their eye on this Vecchia because they will recognise
work from his brush transformed into Giorgionesque forms so
that it is impossible to tell whether it was painted by Giorgione
or is an imitation by Vecchia, and even many of the most knowledgeable have gathered fruit from the latter imagining that it
came from the other tree." In fact Muttoni's activity has contributed not a little to causing misunderstandings and errors
about Giorgione's work, because copies and imitations by the
jcventeenth-century painter were ascribed to him.
at

:

Iacopo Negretti

called

Palma

il

Vecchio

(Serina [Ber-

gamo], c. 1480 - Venice, 1528). By 15 10 he was already known
in Venice in the circle surrounding Giorgione. But the Giorgionesque influence was not confined to his youth it is even more
strongly reflected in the deeper serenity and the placid opulence
of the Sacre Conversazioni and also in the two Portraits of the Querini
(Querini Stampalia Foundation, Venice), which were amongst
;

his last works.

Gerolamo da Romano

called

Romanino

him was
development and

(Brescia,

c.

1484 ~

1566?]. Giorgione's ascendancy over

a youthful episode

in his complicated artistic

grafted on to the

deep Lombard culture that profoundly affected his huge altarMuseo Civico in Padua. Giorgione's influence grew
less, without ever quite disappearing; it is just perceptible in the
frescoes in the Castello del Buonconsigiio at Trent 1531-2J.
Giovanni- Antonio de' Sacchis (or de' Lodesanis) called
PoRDENONEfor Regillo) (Pordenone, c. 1483 - Fcrrara, 1539).
In 1508, in Ferrara, he collaborated with Pellegrino da S.
Daniele; then he worked in Rome and fell under the spell of
Raphael, whose work inspired his magniloquent but robust
plasticism in the work he did for the Duomo at Treviso (1520)
and for the Duomo at Cremona; later, however, in his frescoes
in the church of the Madonna di Campagnain Piacenza (153 1-6)
and in Venice, his Roman dynamism was to show itself receptive
to the elegance of the Mannerists of Parma, and Tintoretto's
early work was to be conditioned by them. Pordcnonc showed an
independent spirit and almost always succeeded in translating
into personal terms the idea by which he was influenced. This
piece in the

1

14

applies to his relations with Giorgione.

by him during

He was much

influenced

youth but transformed Giorgione's use of
colour into the very full-bodied chromatic intensity seen in works
such as his altarpiece for the Duomo in his native city.
his

GiAN Gerolamo Savoldo (Brescia, c. 1480 - after 1548). He
may have been a pupil of Bonsignori and influenced by Giovanni
Bellini and others -Jan van Scorel and Palma Vecchio among
them -

example was the most important factor
work and for a great part of his artistic career. The
themes, the vision - in a word, Savoldo's world - derive without
doubt from Giorgione; but he expresses them by working up the
light and shadow into elaborate contrasts, thus creating a subtly
;

yet Giorgione's

in his early

poetic atmosphere.
Giorgione are Gaston

Among

paintings most influenced by

his

Louvre, the Young Peasant and
the Flute Player in the Contini Bonacossi Collection in Florence,
in the second of which one recognises a touch of Lorenzo Lotto's
de Foix in the

pungency of approach.

David Teniers (Antwerp, 1 61 o - Brussels, 1690). Painter and
engraver who, in his own art, has nothing in common with the
master of Castelfranco, being orientated towards Rubens and,
above all, Brouwer; nevertheless he is of some importance to
Giorgione studies because after the Archduke Leopold William
appointed him his personal painter (1647), he supervised the
engraving of the Italian pictures collected by his patron in the
well-known Theatrum Pictonum. Through these engravings,
examples of Giorgione's work - or of work attributed to him
such as the David or the Bravo (n. 76 and 65) - have been preserved, while

some

make

copies in oils also

certain comparisons

possible, as in the case of Laura (n. 13).

called II Moro (Venice, 1483-93 Verona, 1561-2). Having learnt his craft in Verona under
Liberale, he was soon attracted by Giorgione and other Venetian

Francesco Torbido

not deeply yet not so superficially as is usually suggested.
His Young Man with a Rose in the Bayerische Staatsgemalde-

artists:

sammlungen in Munich and the Young Man with a Flageolet in the
Museo Civico of Padua give proof of this, the last for a long time
attributed to Giorgione himself

Titian Vecellio (Pieve di Cadore, c. 1487 - Venice, 1576).
moving to Venice he was a pupil first of Gentile and then of
Giovanni Bellini. In 1508 he was working at the Fondaco dei

After

Tedeschi, in rivalry - possibly - with Giorgione, although the
latter must have been in charge of the work. After Giorgione's
death he completed some of his pictures such as the Dresden
Venus (n. 21 ). This was not without its effect on Titian, because
the dramatic energy which had characterised the latter's

from the

start

spirit, so that

was opposed

Vasari attributes

other the Christ Bearing

to

work

Giorgione's lyrical and poetic

first

to

the Cross in

one painter and then

to the

Rocco at
been any more confi-

the Scuola di S.

Venice (n. 27). Nor has modern criticism
dent in regard to the Madonna and Child in the Prado (n. 31) or
the Fete Champelre in the Louvre (n. 35). Titian continued to be
influenced by Giorgione though with new and livelier results
during a large part of 1510 20, and he did not overcome this
influence until 1518 when he painted the altarpiece in the
Church of the Frari in Venice.

The paintings

*. *"

in

colour

;

List of Plates

THE TRIAL OF MOSES BY
FIRE

with the campanile of St Mark's
and the Doge's Palace, Venice

[n 1]

PLATE

I

PLATES XXXVI^XXXVI

PLATE

I

Detail of centre, with the flash
of lightning

LVI

i!

Detail of landscape towards the
right

PLATE XIX

PLATE

Detail of the

II

Madonna

PLATE XXXVIII

Detail of the right-hand side of
the central part of the landscape

JUDITH

VARIOUS INSTRUMENTS.
MEDALLIONS AND SCROLLS
[n.3]

PLATE III
North-east wall, right-hand side
musical instruments

PLATE

Detail of male figure on the

left

[n 5]

PLATE XX

THE THREE PHILOSOPHERS

F§TE

CHAMPCTRE

[n.17]

PLATE

LVIII

PLATE

LIX

ENTHRONED MADONNA
AND CHILD

PLATE XXXIX

(CASTELFRANCO

PIjATE XL

ALTARPIECE) [n12]

Detail

:

head of centre

figure

PLATES LX-LXI

IV

PLATE XLI

North-east wall, towards the
astronomical designs

left:

PLATE

XXII

and

PLATE

Detail ol the three seated figures

head of figure on the

Detail:

Detail of part of the banner
of the landscape on the left

PLATE V
North-east wall, centre:
astronomical designs

right

PLATE

PLATE

Detail of right-hand zone, with
shepherds and flocks of sheep
and goats

XLII

LXII

Detail with the head of the

Detail of figure on the right
holding pair of dividers and an

Madonna

astronomical drawing.

PLATE XXIV

PLATE

Detail of the Child in the
Madonna's lap

Detail of seated figure with a
T-square and dividers

PLATE

HOLY FAMILY

PLATE XXV
Detail of landscape with two

PLATES XLIV-XLV

PLATE LXIV

Detail of centre landscape

men

Detail: head of old

[n.6]

PLATE

XXIII

VI

North-east wall, centre, towards
the right:

PLATE

weapons and armour

in

PLATES

VIII-IX

PLATE XXVI

PLATE XLVI
Detail in the upper zone to the

Detail of St Liberale

right

Madonna and

left, with
Child, the ass and

XI

Detail of centre with St Joseph,
two Magi and a man in armour

PLATE

LXIII

man on

the

JACKET
PLATE XXVII
Detail of central zone with
drapery and tapestry- carpets
PLATE

the ox

MAN

[n.36]

left

Detail of the Sleeping Venus [n.2i]

PORTRAIT OF AN OLD

WOMAN
PLATE X
Detail of area on the

THE THREE AGES OF

XLIII

armour

VII

THE ADORATION OF THE
MAGI [n7]

PLATE

[n 35]

Dclail ol centre landscape

PLATE XXI

PLATE

LVII

Detail of landscape on the right

[n 20]

PLATE XLVII

XXVIII

Detail of lower central zone with
the armorial bearings of the
Coslanzo family

VIEW OF CASTELFRANCO AND
A SHEPHERD [n 19]

PLATE XXIX
Detail of St Francis

PLATE

XLVIII

XII

Detail of right-hand part of
picture, with attendants

and

horses

PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG
(LAURA) [n 3]

PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG

PLATE XXX

PLATE XLIX

WOMAN

1

[n.

MAN

23]

THE ADORATION OF THE

SHEPHERDS
PLATE

THE TEMPEST

[n 8]

[n16]

PLATE XXXI

XIII

PLATE XIV
Detail of landscape on the

left

PLATE XV
Detail of landscape

left

SELF-PORTRAIT
PLATE

[n 26]

L

PLATE XXXII
Detail of upper part of painting
on the left with architecture and

BUST OF A MAN

trees

PLATE

[n 24]

LI

of centre

PLATE

XXXIll

PLATE XVI
Detail with St Joseph and the

Detail of upper part of painting
on the right with architecture

Madonna

THE SLEEPING VENUS

and

PLATES

trees

PLATE XXXIV

MADONNA READING
PLATE

XVII

PLATE

XVIII

Detail of the view

on the

Detail of centre
[n 11]

left.

[n 21]

LII-LIII

PLATE LIV
left

with ruins

and vegetation
PLATE XXXV
Detail on the right of the
woman suckling her child

Detail: the head and shoulders
of the goddess and landscape

PLATE LV
Detail of landscape in the centre

The captions under each reproduction
show [in centimelres) the width of the
actual painting, or of the detail of the

painting reproduced.

mmmKi
PLATE

I

THE TRIAL OF MOSES BY FIRE
Whole

(72

cm.)

Florence.

Uffizi

PLATE

II

THE TRIAL OF MOSES BY FIRE
Detail (33 cm.)

Florence. UKizI

VARIOUS INSTRUMENTS. MEDALLIONS AND SCROLLS
North-east wall, right-hand side (50 cm.)

Caslelfranco Venelo, Casa Peilizzari

VARIOUS INSTRUMENTS, MEDALLIONS AND SCROLLS
North-east wall, towards the

left

(50

cm.)

Caslelfranco Veneto. Casa Pellizzarl

PLATE V

VARIOUS INSTRUMENTS, MEDALLIONS AND SCROLLS
North-east wall, centre

(50

cm.)

Castelfranco Veneto, Casa Pellizzarj

PLATE

VI

VARIOUS INSTRUMENTS. MEDALLIONS AND SCROLLS
North-east wall, centre, towards Ihe right (50 cm.)

Caslelfranco Venelo. Casa Peilizzari

PLATE

VII

HOLY FAMILY
Whole

(45.5

cm.)

Washington, National Gallery

PLATES

VIII-IX

THE ADORATION OF THE MAGI
Whole

(81

cm.)

London. National Gallery

PLATE X

THE ADORATION OF THE MAGI
Detail (actual size)

London, National Gallery

PLATE

XI

THE ADORATION OF THE MAGI
Detail (actual size)

London, National Gallery

THE ADORATION OF THE MAGI
Detail (actual size)

London. National Gallery

PLATE

XIII

THE ADORATION OF THE SHEPHERDS Washington.
Whole

(111

cm.)

National Gallery

THE ADORATION OF THE SHEPHERDS Washington.
Detail (actual size)

National Gallery

THE ADORATION OF THE SHEPHERDS Washington,
Detail (actual size)

National Gallery

THE ADORATION OF THE SHEPHERDS Washinglon,
Detail (24 cm)

Nalional Gallery

PLATE

XVII

MADONNA HEADING
Whole

(60

cm.)

Oxford, Ashmolean

Museum

^1

PLATE XVni

MADONNA READING
Detail (actual size)

Oxford, Ashmolean

Museum

MADONNA READING
Detail (actual size)

Oxford, Ashmolean

Museum

JUDITH Leningrad. Hermitage
Whole (66.5 cm.)

ENTHRONED MADONNA AND CHILD (CASTELFRANCO ALTARPIECE)
Whole

(162

cm)

Caslelfranco Veneto, Church of S. Liberale

%.

i
ENTHRONED MADONNA AND CHILD (CASTELFRANCO ALTARPIECE)
Detail (33 cm.)

Caslollfanco Venelo. Church ol S

Liberale

PLATE

XXIII

ENTHRONED MADONNA AND CHILD (CASTELFRANCO ALTARPIECE)
Detail (24 cm.)

Caslelfranco Venelo, Church of

S.

PLATE XXIV

ENTHRONED MADONNA AND CHILD (CASTELFRANCO ALTARPIECE)
Detail (24 cm.)

CasteKranco Venelo, Church

ot

S. Liberals

ENTHRONED MADONNA AND CHILD (CASTELFRANCO ALTARPIECE)
Detail (33 cm.)

Castelfranco Veneto, Church ot S. Liberale

PLATE XXVI

ENTHRONED MADONNA AND CHILD (CASTELFRANCO ALTARPIECE)
Detail (33 cm.)

CasleUranco Venelo

Church

ol

S

PLATE XXVII

ENTHRONED MADONNA AND CHILD (CASTELFRANCO ALTARPIECE)
Detail

(41

cm.)

Castelfranco Venelo. Church o( S. Liberale

PLATE

XXVIII

ENTHRONED MADONNA AND CHILD (CASTELFRANCO ALTARPIECE)
Detail (33 cm.)

Caslellranco Veneto. Church ol S. Liberale

PLATE XXIX

ENTHRONED MADONNA AND CHILD (CASTELFRANCO ALTARPIECE)
Detail (33 cm.)

Caslellranco Venelo, Church ot S. Liberale

PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG
Whole

(33.5

cm.)

WOMAN

(LAURA

)

Vienna. Kunsthislonsches

Museum

v:'^4^^^

PLATE XXXI

THE TEMPEST
Whole

(73

cm.)

Venice, Accademia

PLATE XXXII

THE TEMPEST

Venice. Accademi.i

Detail (actual size)

PLATE

XXXIII

THE TEMPEST

Venice, Accademii

Detail (actual size)

PLATE XXXIV

THE TEMPEST

Venice. Accademia

Detail (actual size)

PLATE XXXV

THE TEMPEST

Venice, Accademia

Detail (actual size)

-"-'\>*:i«V«*>ia.t:irf-^ -T.'f

8 ^

""

:X]l

^

PLATES XXXVl-XXXVII

THE TEMPEST

Venice, Accadem.a

Detail (actual size)

:.-

^^r :*--:

PLATE XXXVIII

THE TEMPEST

Venice. Accademia

Detail (actual size)

PLATE XXXIX

THE THREE PHILOSOPHERS
Whole

(144.5 cm.)

Vienna. Kunsthistonsches

Museum

PLATE XL

THE THREE PHILOSOPHERS
Detail (actual size)

Vienna. Kunsthistonsches

Museum

THE THREE PHILOSOPHERS
Detail (actual size)

Vienna. Kunsthistorisches

Museum

THE THREE PHILOSOPHERS
Detail (actual size)

Vienna. Kunsthistonsches

Museum

PLATE XLIM

THE THREE PHILOSOPHERS
Detail (actual size)

Vienna, Kunslhislorisches

Museum

PLATES XLIV-XLV

THE THREE PHILOSOPHERS
Detail (57 cm.)

Vienna, Kunslhislorisches

Museum

PLATE XLVI

THE THREE PHILOSOPHERS
Delail (27 cm.)

Vienna. Kunsthislorisches

Museum

t-'rfei-,-»-V<«~rt#fet.,'

PLATE XLVII

PORTRAIT OF AN OLD
Whole

(59

cm.)

WOMAN

Venice. Accademi,

PLATE

XLVIII

VIEW OF CASTELFRANCO AND A SHEPHERD
Whole

(29 cm.)

Rollerdam, Boymans-van Beuningen

Museum

V V
PLATE XLIX

PORTRAIT OF A YOUNG MAN
Whole

(46

cm.)

Berlin. Slaatliche

Museen

PLATE

L

SELF-PORTRAIT Biunswick. Herzog Anlon-Ulrich-Museum
Whole (43 cm.)

PLATE

LI

BUST OF A MAN
Whole

(26

cm.)

San Diego

(California). Fine Arts Gallery

PLATES

LII-LIII

THE SLEEPING VENUS
Whole

(175 cm.)

Dresden. Gemaldegalerie

PLATE LIV

THE SLEEPING VENUS
Detail (actual size)

Dresden, Gemaldegalorie

THE SLEEPING VENUS
Detail [actual size)

Dresden, Gemaldegalerie

PLATE

LVI

THE SLEEPING VENUS
Detail (actual size)

Dresden, Gemaldegalerie

PLATE

LVII

THE SLEEPING VENUS
Detail (actual size)

Dresden, Gemaldegalerie

PLATE

LVIII

FETE CHAMPETRE
Whole (138 cm.)

Paris, Louvre

FETE CHAMPETRE
Detail (actual size)

Paris. Louvre

5fir^

PLATES LX-LXI

FETE CHAMPETRE
Detail (actual size)

Paris. Louvre

F£TE CHAMPETRE
Detail (27 cm.)

Paris,

Louvre

PLATE

LXIII

THE THREE AGES OF MAN
Whole

(77

cm.)

Florence,

Pilli

Palace

PLATE LXIV

THE THREE AGES OF MAN
Detail (actual size)

Florence.

Pilti

Palace

The Works

. *•

)

Key to symbols used
So that The essential elements m each
work may be mimedtately apparent, each
commentary is headed first by a number
(following rhe mosi reliable
chronological sequence) which is given
every time thai the work is quoted

throughoui the book, and then by a
series of symbols These refer to
lis execution, that is, to the degree to
1

which
2)

its

II
IS autograph,
Technique.

3)

Its

support.

its present whereabouts
The foMnwinq additional data
whether the work is signed, dated
if Its present day form is complete,
if It IS a finished work
Of the other two numbers in each
headinq ihe upper numbers leiei to the
picture s measurements m centimetres
(height and width), the lower numbers

4)

5|

Bibliography

Its date When the date itself cannot
be given with certainty, and is therefore
only approximate, it is followed or

to

preceded by an asterisk.
according
whether the uncertainty relates to the
'

to

There are very full bibliographical
indexes in the monographs on
Giorgione by G M Richiei. A Morassi
and P Delia Pergola (see below)

period before the date given, the
subsequent period, or both All the
information given corresponds to the
current opinion of modern art historians

any seriously

and any
mentioned in the

Early

further clarification

is

documemary

information has

been compiled from the writings

different opinions

G VASARI

[Le vite

1550 and 15681

text

[Notizie d'opere del

Execution

Eg^ Autograph

BQ

with assistance

ff^

in

H^

with extensive collaboration

}-ff-|

^g

collaboration

from

his

workshop

currently attributed

ffil currently rejected

yQ

Technique

ed Moielli, 1800. ed Fnzzoni. 1884.
ed Fnmmel, 1888]. A VENDRAMtN
[Catalogue of the collection of Andiea
Vendiamin. 1627. ed Borenius. 1923;.
C RIDOLFI [Le maravighe deir arte
Venice 1648. ed Hadeln. 1914
M ^OSCH\X^i\ [La cans del navegar
p/toresco Venice 1 660, ed A
Pallucchini. 1966 Le mrnere de//a
pittura. Venice 1664 Le ncche
minere della pitluia veneziana.
Venice 1 674
The most important studies are by
J A CROWE and G B CAVAL

CASELLE

[A History of Painting in
North Italy. London 1871],
PATER
[The School of Giorgione in the
Renaissance. London 1877|
LERMOLIEFF (G MORELLI)
[Die Werke itahenischer Meistei in
den Galerien von Munchen. Dresden
I

und

Berlin. Leipzig

1880 Kunst

1954] G
and 1895

GRONAU

L VENTURI ^ Giorqione e il
gioigionismo, Milan 1913 Pillure
ilatiane in Ameiica. Milan 1931, and
1 933
Giorgione. Rome 1 954
Giorgione. in the "Enciclopedia
universale dell arte — Vl 1958],

F HARTLAUB [Giorgione
Geheimnis, Munich 19251. R LONGHI
VA 1927 Vialir^o per cinque secoh
di pittuia veneziana. Florence 1946].
A VENTURI [Stona deU'arte italiana
- IX, 3 Milan 1928
L HOURTICO
[Le piobleme de Giorgione. Pans
1930], H POSSE
JPK- 1931],
J WILDE [ JKSW 1932],
G GOMBOSI [EM" 1935],
SUIDA GBA 1935 AV 1954],
D Pm\.UPS .The Leadership ol
Gioigione. Washington 1937],
G M RICHTER [Giorgio da Caslel
Iranco. Chicago 1937], G FIOCCO
[Giorgione. Bergamo 1941, and

G
[

[

W

'

;

1948='

[LA" 1939

BERENSON

B

[The Venetian Painters
London New York

of the Renaissance.
1

Support

894 The Study and Criticism of
1. London 1901
The

Italian Art

Italian Pairtlers of the

Renaissance.

Wood

GBA' 1894
RFK 1908],
19021 H COOK
[

NAV 1894

19081

kntische Sludien uber italienische
Malerei Die Galerien Borghese und
Leipzig 18901.

and other
tliis page)

G FRIZZONI [A
[Giorgione London 1900, and 1904^1
U MOI>JNERET DE VILI_ARD
[Giorgione da Castellianco. Bergamo
1904], L JUSTI [Giorgione. Berlin

Dona

Rom.

editions until

(tor tfiis

below on

1957

Fresco

Panfili in

laler

AV

abbreviations, see

0,1

^3k Tempera

@
^
^

o(

Florence

A MICHIEL
disegno 1 525 -43

W

tradilionally attributed

jjjj recently attributed

©
®

.

M

Oxford 1930 and
thai of

RV

1955],A MORASSI
Giorgione. Milan 1942

BM"1951 •AV1954],G DE BAT2
\Gioiqione and his Circle Baltimore
1942], R PALLUCCHINI [i.JP'"r".3
veneziana del Cinquecenla. Novara
1944 / capolavori dei musei veneti.

Venice 1946 "AV 1959-60',
H TIETZE -E TIET2E CONRAT [The
Diawings of the Venetian Painters.
New York 1944 AB 1949],
V MARIANI [Giorgione. Rome 1945],
H TIETZE [GBA 1945 "AV" 1947],
'

LANGTON DOUGLAS AQ
GODFREY ["C" 1951],
AV 1954], L VON
BALOASS ["JKSW" 1955 G
R

[

1950 F M
C GAMBA

[

(

HEINZ), Gioigione. Vienna-Munich
1964 P ZAMPETTI [Gioigione e
giorgioneschi. Venice 1955 "AV"
1955]. P OELLA PERGOLA

i

,

[Gioigione Milan 1955], L COLETTI
[Tutta fa pittuia dt Gioigione. Milan
19551, T PIGNATTI [Gioigione
Milan 1955], S BETTINI [MAP"

1955-56], M
["ACSA"], C
[ibid

],

NKJ

[

FLORISOONE

MULLER HOFSTEDE
M CALVESI [ibid H A NOE
],

1960], R SALVINI

[

P

BOTTARI ["UEV
[ibid ]. G TESTORI
("PA" 1963]. C VOLPE [Giorgione

1961], S

;,

R WITTKOWER

Milan 1963. C GARAS [ "BMH"
1964]
The following in particular should be
consulted on problems of an iconographical character A FERRIGUTO
[AlmorO Barbaro. I^en/ce1922 //
siqnilicaro dells
Tempesta' Padua
1922 Atlraverso misteii di Giorgrone.
Castelfranco 1933 "ACSA
"AAAV"
1962], C GILBERT ("AB" 1952],
.

i

.

VON BALDASS (JKSW 1953],
HENDY AV 1954; F KLAUNER

L

P

[

("JKSW" 1955],

E

BATTISTI

[

E

1957]

Plaster

Canvas

Whereabouts
•
•
o
•
o
•
o
o

Public Collection
Private Collection

Unknown

Abbreviations

Losi

A

L arte

Ameiica
Attf dcU'Accadenua

AA: Aft

in

Additional Data

AAAV

^

A8 The An Bulletin
ACSA Am del XVIII

colttii.i.

Signed

agrr
Scienie e Letteie di Verona
dt

Coiigiesso
Internaiionale di Stona dell'Arte

§
B

Incomplete or fragment

Q

AN
AQ

Arte Nostra (Treviso)
All Quarterly

Unfinished

AV
BA

Arte Veneta

Dated

1955 (Venice 1956)

Bolleltino d'Artc

BDI The

Bulletin ol the Detroit

Institute ol Arts

Symbols given

in the text

BM

The Burlington Magazine

BMf^ Bulletin du Mus6e Hongrois des
Beaux Arts
BRM Berliner Museen
C The Connorsseur
E Emporium
F Franklurter Zeitung

GBA

Gazette des Beaux -Arts

ILN Illustrated London

News

Patavina di Scienze. Lettere c Arti

NA Nuova Antologia
NAV Nuovo Archrvro
Jaarboek
P Pantheon

PA Paragone
RFK ftepertorium

JKSW

Jahrhuch der KunsthrsttHisches
Sammlungen in Wren
JPK Jahrhuch der preussischcn
Kiinstsammlungen

MAP Memone

Kunslwissen-

RV Rivista di Venezia
UEV Umanesimo Europeo

c

Umane

simo Veneziana (Florence 1963)
\/\

deU'Accadcmia

fur

schalt

VA

K Kunstchronrk
LA Le Arti

Veneto

NKJ Ncderlands Kunsthistonsch

Vita Arlislica

le Vic d Italia

Outline biography

.

<•

Seldom has a painter been so
renowned as Giorgione His
name became famous ai once,
while he lived; time only increased his renown and, as
taste changed, it did not grow
less, although it was not
accompanied by any real
understanding of the man and

work On the contrary his
was wrapped in
legend, and little by little the
Giorgione myth was created
The artists biography, particu-

represent anything

without copying

Tuscany and

his

in

personality

creators of the

larly in

the seventeenth century

became so corrupted by
and the body of
his work so swollen by
atirrbuimg to him paintings
that were not by his hand but
the work of imitators such as
fanciful details

in his

works

from life,
and so much was he her slave.
imitating her continuously, that
he acquired the reputation not
only of having surpassed
Giovanni and Gentile Bellini,
but also of being the rival of
the masters who were working
it

who were

the

modern manner
Giorgione had seen some
works by the hand of Leonardo,

with a beautiful gradation of
colours, and with extraordinary
relief, effected, as has been
related, by means of dark

shadows, and this manner
pleased him so much that he

forms and other things so soft,
so well harmonised and so
well blended in the shadows,
that

many

of the excellent

masters of his time were forced
to confess that he had been
born to infuse spirit into figures
and to counterfeit the freshness
of living flesh belter than any
other painter, not only in
Venice, but throughout the

world

In the

second edition

of the

[1568] the date of his
birth was put forward to 1478
when Giovanni Mozenigo.
brother of

Doge

Doge" an

alteration

Piero,

was

perhaps

to the difference in the

the painter had ever existed

selecting, for putting tnto hts

asserted (see

Nineteenth century studies.

pictures, the greatest

scholars were confused There

was even doubt

as to whether

particularly those

—

mentioned

— already

carried out by

Cavalcaselle and Morelli,
rehabilitated Giorgione

and

rescued his reputation from a
confusion of ideas about his
life

c

and

his

beauty
and the greatest variety that he
could find Nature gave him
such a sweet disposition that.
both in oil-painting and in
fresco, he

made

certain living

As

pamt the

surname of the
whether Barbarella or

for the

painter,

Council.

of the

Bafbarelli. as

35), no valid

was several times
1648 and 1724^
documentary
for this, and the

support exists

most recent

art historians are

therefore inclined to dismiss

it

in this year.

illustrious

(State

Archives. Venice)

1508 On 24 January
(1507 according to Venetian

1506

dales) there is another order
lor the payment to Giorgione
for the not yet finished work

1

June. Date and

inscription
of Laura in

on the reverse side
Vienna (see

in

Doges

the

heads

Catalogue, n 13)

1507 14 August The Council
of Ten orders the payment to
Giorgione of twenty ducats for
(now lost, see n.86)
be placed in the Audience
Hall of the Doges Palace in
Venice "We. the heads of the
Illustrious Council of Ten, bid
and ordain you, the noble lord
Francesco Veneno. appointed
a picture

Provisor Salis ad

Capsam

Magnam

[bursar to the
treasury], to pay on behalf of
the office of works of the

Chancellery and the seat of the
Council of Ten
to Master
Zorzi da Castelfrancho, painter,
tor

1504 Probably

most

20 ducais

altarpiece [Catalogue, n 12).

to

Venetian manner of calculating
the date [Della Pergola, 1957]

was

to

Chamber

to

the picture he is executing
in the Audience

be placed

Palace

'We. the
Council

of the Illustrious

and ordain you, the

of Ten. bid

for ever studying it as
long as he lived, and in oil
painting he imitated it greatly
Taking pleasure in the delights
of good work, he was ever

Pietro della Vecchia, that

was commissioned

"

Vile

due

death of Matteo
Costanzo. the chapel of St
George was built in the church
of Castelfranco, and Giorgione
after the

noble Lord Aloysio Sanulo,
Provisor Salis ad Capsam
Magnam: to give and pay to
Master Zorzi da Castelfranco.
painter, for the canvas he is
executing

Chamber
most

new Audience
Heads of that

for the

of the

illustrious Council,

twenty-five ducais, namely 25.
from the money allocated for
the building of the audience
. (State Archives.
chamber
,

.

Venice)

By 23 May the patnimg
the Doge s Palace was
probably finished [Morasst]
as appears from the order for
for

payment

for the

protecting

curtain for the said picture

work

1477 Giorgio

or Zorzi.

according to Venetian dialect
{"Giorgione" as far as is known
was used for the first time only
forty years after the painters
death by Paolo Pino [1548])
was born at Castelfranco the
information is derived from the
first

edition of

Vasan

s V/te

Giorgio was born in
[1 550]
Castelfranco in the district of
Treviso m the year

MCCCCLXXVll
his nature

In time, from
and from the great

ness of his mind, Giorgio came
be called Giorgione. and
although he was born of very
humble stock, nevertheless he
to

was genile and well mannered
throughout his life He was
brought up in Venice and took
unceasing delight m the pys of
love, and the sound of the lute
gave him marvellous pleasure,
so that rn his day he played
and sang so divinely that he

was

often

employed

for that

purpose at various musical
assemblies and gatherings
of noble persons He studied
drawing and found it greatly
to his taste, and in this nature
favoured him so highly, that
he. having become enamoured
of her beauties,

would never

(Top row. left) Presumed self-portrait (three limes hie size) m the drawing with the View of Castelfranco {Catalogue n 19).
(bottom left) in the Three Philosophers (n 17). (top right), as David, in the painting m Vienna fn 76) and lastly (bottom right) the
engraved copy of the painting discussed here (see page 93} (On the right) Detail of a Self Portrait m Brunswick fn 26).

83

)

"We, the heads

most

of ihe

Mlusirious Council of Ten. bid

and ordain you. Lord Aloysio
Sanuio, Provisof Salis ad
Capsam Magnam to give and
pay to Master Zorzi Spavenio
the curtain for Ihe picture

for

done for the new Audience
Chamber, the total amount as
appears
Soldi 18
Venice)
tt

(State Archives.

August work was carried
the Fondaco dei

In

out

in his bill, Lire 35.

at

Tedeschi {German mart or
commercial centre) which had

been

Germans
and

Ihe

rebuilt

are beginning to bring in
fix

planks,

interior

and whilst

everything

in

the

bemg

is

completed painting is being
carried on outside
[M Sanudo,

1496-15331

Diani.

Matio, painters, elected in the
presence of the magistrates

Signon

M

Caroso da Ca da
Zuan Zentani, Mann
and Aloixe Sanudo

Pesaro.
Gniti

Pfoviders of Sail as appointed
deputies to decide on the

value of the painting done on
the front fagade of the
Fondaco dei Tedeschi and
executed by Master Zorzi da
Castelfrancho, having reached
agreement, declared that m
their judgment and opinion the
said Master Zorzi merited
for

of

the said painting the

150 ducats On the said

day. with the agreement of the

aforementioned Master Zorzi,
130 ducats were paid lo him
[Cadonn. Memone
1842]
.

1510 From

On 8 November Giorgione
finished the frescoes toi Ihe

sum

the letter of

seem

it

you

to

what you think fit
we are assured that you will
act loyally and entirely in our
interest, and on sound advice
Mantua XXV oct MDX
others do

[A

m

Isabella d'Este.

which looked

to paint that part

necessary to conclude the
transaction, in the event of the
work being a good one. foi
that It may be acquired by

on

to the Merceria

(see

'

1563 Pans Bordone makes

a

valuation of the pictures in

Giovanni Grimani

Antonio's

di

among which

house,

now

Nativity,

is

Greece over Homer The
Barbarella family of Castel

Catalogue, n 22)

a

lost (see

Catalogue, n 101

Luzio Archivio Storico

dell Arte

Franco boasts of having given
him birth and with reason
because he brought them the
most sublime honours
Some say however, that
Giorgione was born in
Vedelago that his family was
one of the most prosperous
there and that his father

1567 10 September

1888|

On 7 November Taddeo
Albano replied to Isabella of
Mantua, confirming that
Giorgione had died as the
result of the plague, and he
declared thai he regretted he
could not satisfy her desire

because there were no
paintings by Giorgione for sale
Most illustrious and
excellent lady,
have done as
your Excellency asked in your
letter of the 25 of last month
informing me that you have
I

25 October, quoted below,

which

And should

Cameiino

rich

delle Antigaglie of

Vendramm

Gabriele

tn the

"

One

contradiction between this

there

'rich father'

and Vasans

appears to have been a small
painting by Giorgione (see
n 102)

"born of very humble stock"
The "myth of Giorgione has

1568

1724-35 Nadal Melchion

In the second edition of
the Vite Vasan mentions other

in

begun

[Chronicle of Castelfranco.
in the Correr Museum of
Venice, cod Gradenigo Dolfin
n 205, page 30] gives the
following details concerning

In the

Ihe legend created round

ms

the Catalogue)

1569 14 March

'

103 and 104

paintings by Giorgione (see
n 22, 26. 27, 80.

^

was

notices the

heard that there was among
the effects of Zorzo da
Castelfrancho a very fine and
unusual picture of a Nativity
and that this being so you

would
I

have

like to

To which

it

reply to your Excellency that

«#

the said Giorgione died of

plague recently, and wishing
to serve yout Excellency,
have
spoken with some friends who
were in close touch with him,
I

and Ihey assure me that there
was not such a picture among
his effects

thai

It

drawing of the View

In the

surrounding

of Castelfranco (Catalogue, n. 19) the
Giorgione's birthplace are recognisable
with what remains of them today

city walls of

when compared

indeed true

is

Zorzo painted one

for

Thadeo Contanni, which from
the intoimation
IS

not as

good

I

have received

as you

would

wish Another painting

of the

Nativity was done by the said
Zorzo for a certain Victono
Bechaio. which from what
hear is of better design and
superior to the Contanni
picture But the said Becharo
I

IS

not present

in

these parts

and from what has been told
me. neither one nor Ihe olhei
is for sale at any price, since
the owners had them for their
own enjoyment so that
regret
have been unable to
I

I

carry out your Excellency's

Head

of Giorgione in the woodcut puljhshed in the second
[1568] of G Vasan s Vite The likeness was taken from
the Brunswick painting (see page 83) the picture has acquired
part of Its prestige as evidence of Giorgione's appearance from the
fact that

Vasan was able to draw from

Palazzo

wishes

edition

"Venice VII

november 1510

[A Luzio. Archivio Storico
dell Arte

1888:

Fondaco

det Tedeschi

and
payment

Marchioness of Mantua, asks
Taddeo Albano toi a Night'

(the
lists

Anonymo

Michiel

Morelliano

)

many works by Giorgione

he had received, he instiluled

(that

a lawsuit to obtain just

Giorgione. he having died,

families (see n 14. 16. 18. 26.

compensation

perhaps from the plague which
raged in Venice in September
of that year [M Sanudo. Diarii]
Most noble Friend We
understand that amongst the
goods and estate of the
painter Zorzo da Castelfrancho

29.

for his

work, as

shown m a document of the
time "Ser Marco Vidal by
order of Ihe illustrious Signona
relaled to their Excellencies
Providers of Sail that justice
IS

must be done to masier Zorzi
of ChasleMrancho in his suit
for payment for patnling Ihe
Fondaco dei Tedeschi and was
referred to his Excellency

Hieronimo and Ser Alvise
"
Sanudo and many others
[Cadonn. Memone
1842]
.

On

1 1

December a

commission of three artists,
nominated by Giovanni Belhni,
decided in favour of payment
for the work al Ihe Fondaco
dei Tedeschi

"Ser Lazaro

there

IS

is

a /Nativity} by

in

if

this

be

we would like to have n.
therefore we pray you to go

so,

49 and 88-98

in

of the

good

offices of

our distinguished compatriot
Carlo Valetio and whoever else

seems good

to

you to reserve

this picture for us, finding

[Carpaccio) and ser Velhor de

the price and informing us of

out

Camerino delle Antigaglie
mentioned above other works
by Giorgione are listed (see
n 38 and 39)

be Giorgione

s in

1575 A note on

1548 Paolo Pino [Dialogo

manusctipt mentions a portiait
painted by Giorgione which

di

mentions a painting
by Giorgione, now lost

Venice

Giorgione

of

now

Pittura]

IS

(see n 99)

1648

fosi (n

98)

Ridolfi [Maraviglte

"Barbarella

Milan from where
after

Franco

Michiel's

moat round

This Noble Family lays claim
to ancient origins in the city

soon

Catalogue)

ii

moved

1400 to Castel
To this family

Giorgio Barbarella was born
the very celebrated paintet

chapel called S
Giorgio there is the picture of
Ouf Lady with Ihe child Jesus
In the first

]

who

punts numerous but not
always reliable references to

in her

works by Giorgione (see n 27
and 100 in the Cataiogue)

Giorgione's works (see n 12,
21, 22. 26, 65, 79. 80. 91, 100.
103. 106 108. 111-114, 116,

1557 More

tries to

and in thai of the left St
Francis This was created by
Ihe marvellous and nevei
sufficiently praised brush of
Giorgio Barbarella, citizen ol
Caslel Franco, the inventor of

1550 From Vasan's

Vite

one

information is
given by Dolce. [Diafogo
1557] '
Giorgio da
Castelfranco was commissioned
(but a long time ago) to paint
Ihe outer fagade of the
Fondaco dei Tedeschi: and

who was young
was commissioned

Titian himself,
it

to

erected on a small island in the
the outer walls of Castelfranco Veneto

117 119 125 127, 129 138)

judgment and reliability, and
see if II be an excellent thing,
and if you find it to be so,

make use

presumed

(it is

the

finds lurilier references to

with Lorenzo da Pavia and
some other person o(

Basiian. ser Vetlor Scarpaza

84

the possession of Venelian

a picture of a Nativity,

very fine and unusual,

the house

Silvestro

A Benvenuti (1878)

it

1525-43 Marcantonio
dissatisfied with the

Valier.

Campo S

the building with the little balcony in
the centre of the fagade facing the campanile) from a nineteenth
century engraving (On the right) A monument to Giorgione by
in

at

the time,

tion

gather all the informa
about the painter's family,

right

arms and in the bottom
hand coiner St George

m

or rather the families that boast

tenderness

having given him birth
"Castel Franco m the district

commonly known

of

of Trevtso

and Vedelago

painting,

as Giorgione

noble
behaviour and nature Tuzio

because

of his great skill

Villaggio disputed tor a long

Constanzo commissioned the

time as to where Giorgione
was born, as did Ihe cilies ol

said Giorgione to painl this
picture

Catalogue of works

Giorgione is neither a myth,
nor a legendary being. He was
an historical figure who lived

Vecchia,
In the nineteenth century
scholars wished to make

the*en«.a#'ihe fifteenth
century and during the first
at

decade

when

He

of the sixteenth.

Many were downright false,
earned out in part, as was well
known, by Pietro della

played a part and, indeed, a
leading one in that particular

a critical study of the

artist.

of civilisation in Venice in the
humanist and Renaissance
sense He stands m (he same
relation to Venetian painting
as Raphael or Michelangelo

Giorgiones name was almost
dropped from the history of
art, to such an extent had
legend surrounded and
confused his personality The
work of revision, undertaken
by Cavalcaselle and Morelli.

to that of Central Italy, that

was made

moment

the revival

of history

is.

he approached the problem of
art as a search for inner
subjective truth, in

full

aware-

ness that the individual
part of a

whole

to

indtssolubly linked

a

is

which he
Man,

nature, the universe

that

is

is

the

Giorgionesque iheme
Information about him is
scarce though fully reliable and
very few works can be
attributed to him with
confidence But the echoes of
his extraordinary personality

(Baldassare Casliglione - as
has been seen - quotes him
[1528] as being one of the

and

five great Italian painters

as unique amongst Venetians)
spread quickly, fed by
imaginary details and helped
by his early death Seventeenthcentury criticism was to create
the Giorgione "myth", anxious
to bestow a legendary halo on
an artist so famous durmg hts
short life The myth grew from
the renown that flowered
round an innovator on the

threshold of the sixteenth
century who suddenly

outstripped Giovanni Bellini,

Carpaccio and Cima da
Conegliano in that search tor
freedom in pictorial expression
which remains his greatest
glory and which led the way
to Titian, Sebastiano del
Piombo. Raima Vecchio and
many others who could by no
means be considered minor

The

responsibility for

go

more to Ridolfi than to Vasari
who. though not always an
accurate biographer, gives
exact and' sound criticism of

Giorgiones painting ("he
began to give his work more
softness and greater dimensions
by fine painting
always
pursuing living and natural
models
insisting that
.

.

,

m

painting

colour alone without any study or drawing was
the true way of carrying out
"). Following Vasan,
his art
Ridolfi carried on by giving
imaginary information which
led to serious misrepresenta.

.

spreadmg (if he did not
invent) the legend that the
painter was a member of the
tion,

Barbarella family

Original

sources are

on the

subject.

.century
of

silent

The seventeenth
added a whole series

vaguely Giorgionesque

paintings to the

list

with the curiosity and taste of
the amateur, lists, among other
things, all the paintings by

Giorgione that he saw in
houses m Venice and Padua

between 1 525 and 1 543 The
two scholars ~ one helped by
his unusually sound intuition
the other by the comparative

method which he had evolved
began their work with
documented pictures, and
succeeded,

if

not

in

of

Giorgiones authentic pictures.

Giorgione, painting m the
first decade of the sixteenth
century made more progress
than in the thirty or forty

preceding years Giorgione in
truth did not remain bound by
the technique of Giovanni
Bellini, by whom, as well as by
Antonello. he was first
influenced, he was aware of.

and welcomed, the new
opinions rising from various
other regions, in particular,
as Longhi pointed out. from
central Italy, that is from
Francia and Costa, but not
from them alone The
Madonna m the Adoration
in Washington (certainly by
Giorgione and equally
certainly a youthful work) must
be compared with the type of
Madonna painted repeatedly
by Perugino. in the Cambio
at Perugia, for example, or by
Pinturicchto in the Vatican
frescoes or in S Maria del

Popolo

recon-

in

Rome

same
movement

the

pose, the identical

personality, at least in giving

of the drapery

genuine physiognomy and
wresting il from myth tn spite
of errors and omissions and

a fan over the Child

It

a

some

opening

like

in his

rush

basket What works of this
kind were there m Venice'

None

inaccurate appraisals

thanks

[o

structing the painter's

are

known

Vittore

and attributions, Cavalcaselle
and Morelli laid the foundation
for all serious studies on

Carpaccio certainly was well
informed about many aspects

Giorgione Unfortunately their
immediate successors did not
profit from it and once more
ideas became confused Cook,
accepting as fact discrepancies

and It IS not by chance that he
IS suggested as one of those
who perhaps guided Giorgione.

in

the

two worthy

critics'

conclusions, look for granted
that all the paintings proposed
by both of them were by
Giorgione. and Justt subse-

quently increased their number
by adding mediocre works to
masterpieces and setting out
himself to build up a

heterogeneous body of work
Thus the research, so positive

m many

respects, carried out

by the two Italian scholars
rendered useless Gronau

artists.

creating the legend must

easier by the
publication [1800] of a book
which Marcantonio Michiel.

in

the leadership o( that great
"pilot" Giovanni Bellini

was

of painting in central Italy,

either directly or indirectly, in

work Carpaccio. in
any case, is a more likely
source than German engravings,
even those by Schongauer
that have been mentioned
and which are so Gothic in the
twisted and writhing folds of
their drapery These engravings
are unlikely to have served as
models for Giorgione, who was
orientated towards classicism
his early

rather than tortured

rhythms Contributions from
literature and science in which
the

new

culture

was steeped

and determined
lo go again through all the
literary evidence and exclude

must also be taken into
consideration The indepen-

everything not historically
verified Lionello Ventun kept
scrupulously to a similar
course and his reconstruction

search for what was true in
nature - true in the purest
sense, not secondhand truth the impatience ot restraint,
questions about the relations

realised this

body of Giorgionesque
work [1913] was extremely
of the

dence

of

knowledge, the

Echoes from central

especially after the exhibition

over Giorgiones early development In reality there was only

Giorgione. which enabled
scholars to make a direct

one motive force the

comparison between many
canvases Consequently
Giorgione need no longer be
looked upon as an impenetrable sphinx, and perhaps the

civilisation of

humanism

beating strongly and with an
ever increasing insistence on
the doors of Venetian
painting, which, until the

critics

infrequent essays

m

portraiture

Even when attempts had been

made

to

go beyond

religious

themes, they were always
confined to allegories of an
edifying character or to the
exaltation of the glones of
Italy This does not mean that
the Giorgionesque vision was

exclusively alive to profane

we

a revolutionary,

to

him

owe

of

Venetian

the

and
emergence

painting from the placid

waters ot the fifteenth century
m whtch It had sailed under

and the soul
Nor can it be excluded that the
young Giorgione was
natural sciences

influenced by the neoPlatonism of Padua, calculated
to steer

him towards a

passionate study of nature and
man a study not at all
speculative or philosophical
but exquisitely lyrical

when

distant

of these early works,

to

it

be possible to follow his
career with unity of opinion

As

for the characteristics

modern

have drawn attention

to their almost primitive purity
- in the sense in which it is
applied to Greek masterpieces
and Roberto Longhi has subtly
described them as preRdphaelite
In addition to
dwelling on this aspect
scholars have thrown light on

the importance of the

subjects and that the painter
had not felt the call of sacred

chromatic vision introduced by
Giorgione and have pointed
out the "tonal values, that is

themes Rather, he revealed a

the synthesis of colour

unknown conception
divinity, more human than

hitherto
ot

the past, and expressed it
through personal spiritual
experience, merging celestial
beings in the universe of all
in

created things, intimately

observed and intimately
understood Through love
nature, of
rising

its

of

phenomena -

and setting sun.

the

fie'ds.

mountains, water'- his
compositions flower without,
apparently, any meaning in the
sense of illustration
The first step towards
identifying Giorgiones artistic
personality is to be made by
an examination of the three
trees,

paintings definitely

be

his

known

to

the Tempest in

sophers in Vienna and the
Dresden Venus To these can
be added - according to
ancient tradition - the altarpiece at Castelfranco, Laura.

now

in Vienna. Christ Carrying
in the Scuola di
S Rocco in Venice, and what
remains of the decoration on

the Cross

Fondaco det
Tedeschi (German commercial
the walls of the

centre), also in Venice

number

A

of other paintings,

now

name from Xh^ Adoration of the
Shepherds, formerly part of the
Allendale Collection and now
in the National Gallery of Art,

Washington, with which are
associated the Adoration of
the Magi in London, (he Hofy
fami/y formerly in the Benson
Collection and now m
Washington and lastly the
Madonna in Oxford This group
relates to early work, and is
preceded by two paintings tn
the Uffizi which there seems

no reason

tor

doubt

"

and

enriched by delicate and
very sensitive modulations in
the shadows (such as Vasan
described in referring to
Leonardo), changing, variable,
trembling, spreading symphonically over the whole
picture blurring the contours,
wearing away the solid shapes
light,

which remained

essential as
long as the principle prevailed
that local colour must be put
on flat, or even with a threedimensional purpose, but
always within the rigid
outlines of the design In
the Tempest, therefore, one
sees the origins of modern
landscape painting The
refinement ot this chromatic
vision, resulting

Venice, the Three Philo-

Pomponazzi was propounding,

due to the fact that the
events m his very short life
took shape with extraordinary
intensity To make use of an
overworked expression, he was

far

955 dedicated

course, the exception of

Heinz and. amongst others,
by Ventun himself
One of the reasons for the
uncertainty about Giorgione
IS

not

IS

1

religious subjects, with, of

religious subjects taking their

not without opposition from
the Church, his passionately
held theories concerning the

m

will

discussed m university circles
in Padua, where Pietro

to

Richter.

Venice

time

Wilde, Longhi. Fiocco,
Morassi. Suida. von Baldass.

way

earned out to

good purpose by

in

beginning ot the sixteenth
century, does not seem io have
extended much beyond

considered almost
certainly by him, are connected
with the so called Allendale
group", that is the series of

later studies

can

begin with relative certainty
from this solid body of work,

derived from Paduan philosophy
are therefore the two stimuli
which have exerted influence

between science on the one
hand, philosophy and religion
on the other, were much m the
news at the time and keenly

useful, leading the

Stylistic reseafch. then,

Italian

painting and certain ideas

from

gradations of colour and light
rather than from a series ol

and the
between figures

intersecting lines,

relationship

and

their setting

became

continually more intimate,
while in the fifteenth century

the separation between figures

and landscape background was
distinct In spite of the
novel liberation of fantasy
(which led to important
developments in the field ot
graphic representation)
Giorgione succeeded in
achieving the supremely
still

dignified monumentality of

(he Three Philosophers in

Vienna From then onwards
Venetian artists were to use
colour in such a way as lo
it as a
power of
matter to become light"

reveal

;D Annunzio]
Nor does Giorgione
brilliant

his

s

career stop here In

work he deals with

half length figures

large

"without

drawing which ted Vasan to
accuse him of not knowing

how

to

draw Longhi.

in

devotes himself to a
reconstruction of this technique
by studying a number of
particular,

^5

works each

whrch presents

of

exireniely inieresiing problems

with implications
These include the relationship
between Giorgione and the
bristling

and explain why
paintings such as the Sleeping
Venus in Dresden and the
Fete Champetfe m Pans were
atTiibuted first to one and then

young

Titian

by Titian's adversaries One
has only to read the following
Titian
passage by Dolce
solely from that small
spark which he discovered m
Giorgiones painting, saw and
understood how to paint to
perfection' Thus, apart from
seventeenth -century

suggesting that Titian worked
on Giorgione s pictures after
the latter s death When one
bears in mind that for other
work, such as the Adulteress
in Glasgow. Sebasiiano del
Piombo was given the credit,
It will be clear what confusion
there was about the output of

created by

the similarities that exist

between Giorgiones work
and that of the "moderns' Trtian and Sebastiano del
Piombo This, therefore, is the
problem, the importance of
Giorgiones activity, not only
but

in Itself
artistic

most

in

regard to the

development during

of the sixteenth century

Every pamier
including
Giovanni Bellini who was
already old at the time and

who

IS

remembered

as

one

of

the possible masters of the
painter from Castel
franco - who became aware

at clarification,

while even

"

some

show how

second

extent,

and

further

progress is still possible If. as
everything leads one to believe,
Christ Carrying the Cross in
the Scuola di S Rocco at

Venice is really by Giorgione,
then even his activity during
his last years will not remain
obscure, especially if scholars
succeed m proving that the
Fete Champetre in the Louvre
IS by Titian alone We know
thai the

Tempest

illustrates

particular incident or.

if

no

does,

it

no
but sheer enchantment,

recurring aspects
story,

life

there

is

almost the annihilation of the
individual

m

the immensity of

increased (see below) This
was the most sinking aspect

Giacomo Leopardi

Giorgiones
aura,

more

later

work, and

defined as "mysterious'

much

mind

intrigued his

,

very

contem

poraries and posterity Even
the inflation of the number of
his paintings is a proof of

Giorgiones success, and
sixteenth -century Venetian
historians were so well aware
of

It

that, in their fear of

harming the new star
undisputed master of

Titian
art in

similar to that

which

defines

Giorgione did not
dramatic urgency in his

his Infinity

aim

at

the

realm of the Venetian Republic
and most sagacious manager
of his own reputation
they
tried to prove that Giorgiones
fame was the result of boosting,
supposed to have been created

human

burden, the
"psychological moment"
the

purified

is

and becomes

exquisitely subjective con-

templation reality transformed
into ecstasy Because of these

cosmic characierisiics
Giorgiones art transcends his
time and appears to us so
prodigiously alive and
contemporary
According to the practice in
this series of books, the

Catalogue which follows gives
list of pictures by Giorgione

a

works attributed
him. though there may be

as well as of
to

I

anists influenced by

list

are

although thought to be
Giorgione s even by authorita

were treated as a single
sequence one would create
not one "Giorgione
whether

tive critics,

new

in

'

",

or old, but several

Giorgiones. beginning with the
Giorgione who emerges from
the shadow of Giovanni Bellmi

and

to

whom

attributed

pictures

may be

A

third

comprises works mentioned
coniempoiary, or near
contemporary, sources but now

paintings

in

the second

list,

not discern Giorgiones

A

brief

explanation follows

reader will see.

usually

is

omitted from the

generous acceptance

of

compilation would merely
deter the reader from reaching
conclusions which, if not
absolutely unchallenged, are
at least consistent with
Giorgione s output Our list is
therefore divided into two
parts, the first contains
authentic works (that is. theu
authenticity is supported by
written evidence or is almost
unanimously accepted) and
works which in our opinion
(for the most part backed by
excellent judgment)

show

a

such as to
suggest a plausible develop
stylistic similarity

list

of

Antonello s visit to
Venice - old historians say
after

was

that the latter

the

first

to

use such oil colours - Giorgione
probably used a "mixed
technique, which it is believed
was brought from Messina
to Venice a technique based

on the same pigments formerly
used for lempera. but treated
with new essences put on in
successive coats, and where
ingredients typical of the

oil

procedure were more and more
used until - perhaps - the
method could be described
as genuine painting in oils.
But the works which seem
to show the use of this
painting in oils are

number which

among

reveal the

the

hand

who followed
Giorgione or which can

definitely

be attributed lo

Titian or others
Finally

the question of date

many gaps
To establish an exact
chronology for an artist such
readers will find

as Giorgione.

whose known

work was completed within
ten years and may even have
taken no more than five, and
which contains visually no
certain fixed point in time.

presents a desperately
difficult undertaking all the
more so. one must add, in that
various paintings give the
impression, even in certain
cases, such as the Tempest.

having been left
long time in his studio,
and subjected sometimes lo
considerable elaboration,
dictated by second thoughts
(not difficult to imagine in a
of

for a

(Plaies

86

1

II)

by

fire

why

The scene, set against a
panoramic background,
conveys an atmosphere of
contemplation, almost of
enchantment, very different,
lor example, from Poossin's
picture of a similar subject

now

in

the Louvre In

"

of artists

1

so thai he may
in jest he had let
fall Pharaohs crown from his
head In the presence of the
sovereign on the throne the
child, taking a burning coal
from the brazier, puts it in his
mouth, burns his tongue and
remains a stammerer for life

tria