Giorgione (born in 1477 or 1478 – died in 1510) is a great Italian artist of the XV-XVI centuries, an outstanding master of religious, portrait and landscape genres. Giorgione’s paintings have a unique harmonious combination of man and nature. The brilliant painter skillfully used the landscape not only as a background for the characters, but also enhanced the emotional impact of the work on the viewer with its help.
Giorgione is one of the most famous representatives of the Venetian school of painting and a very mysterious person in the history of world art. The artist’s biography is replete with numerous white spots, and his authorship in relation to many paintings is still disputed by some experts.
Biography of Giorgione Giorgione
Barbarelli da Castelfranco was born in the small town of Castelfranco Veneto near Venice in 1477 or 1478. The exact date of birth of the artist is unknown, however, as well as his origin. Unfortunately, no reliable facts have survived about the early childhood of the great painter and his parents.
In 1493, the young Giorgione became a student of the famous Venetian painter Giovanni Bellini and worked in his studio for the next 7 years. Bellini was an outstanding teacher of the era and trained a galaxy of famous artists, including Tiziano, Veronese and Tintoretto.
In 1500, Giorgione wrote his first independent work, The Holy Family, and met Leonardo da Vinci, who was visiting Venice at the time. The great master of the Renaissance had a tremendous influence on the formation of the young artist and discovered a remarkable talent in him.
The rave reviews of Bellini and Da Vinci about Giorgione’s success have contributed to the growth of his popularity and the emergence of regular customers. From that moment on, the artist not only created for his own pleasure, but also received a solid reward for his work.
Inspired by the high marks of the great masters, Giorgione paints pictures on religious themes and portraits of noble nobles. His fame quickly spreads throughout Italy and far beyond its borders. Around 1505, Giorgione meets Titian, and their meeting instantly develops into a real strong friendship.
Brilliant prospects open up before Giorgione, but fate turned out to be merciless to him. In 1510, an epidemic of plague came to Venice, from which thousands of people of different ages and social status died. He died of a terrible illness and Giorgione, at the time of his death he was only 32 or 33 years old. The artist did not have time to start a family during his lifetime and did not leave behind descendants.
The most famous paintings by Giorgione
Among the most famous paintings by Giorgione are recognized masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance with a fascinating history. Today they adorn the expositions of the best museums in the world. Art connoisseurs are familiar with the titles of these works:
- “Judith” (1504) is a painting with an unusual fate, one of the best masterpieces of the High Renaissance from the Hermitage collection. Until the middle of the 19th century, its authorship was attributed to Raphael (Raffaello), but today connoisseurs have no doubt that the work was created by Giorgione.
- “Madonna of Castelfranco” (1504) is the only one of the master’s works, commissioned by the church, and does not cause doubts among experts about its authorship. The perfect example of classic triangular symmetry in the visual arts.
- “Laura” (1506) – portrait of a young woman with the author’s own handwritten signature. But restorers found this inscription on the reverse side of the canvas only in 1882. Until then, it was considered the creation of Romanino (Romanino) or Boccaccino (Boccaccino), whose names are almost unknown to the general public.
- The Sleeping Venus (1508) is a work of genius by Giorgione who narrowly escaped death at the end of World War II. The painting from the Dresden Gallery was discovered by Soviet soldiers in a flooded mine and sent to the Soviet Union. Only in 1955, on the initiative of Nikita Khrushchev, the restored masterpiece returned to Germany.