Giorgione was one of the most influential and renowned Venetian painters to have a profound influence of the High Renaissance style. He was one the first artists to have introduced painting people in a landscape setting. He is most famous for his best known work, “The Tempest”. In addition to his landscapes, Giorgione was a highly sought after artist for his half-length portraits.
Giorgione was born circa 1477 in the small town of Castelfranco Veneto, in Venice, Italy. Historians have been able to reveal very little about his childhood, but it is reported that Giorgione was born into a family of limited means and he began to exhibit his passion and talent for arts at a very young age. In 1490, Giorgione began his apprenticeship at the workshop of the notable master painter, Giovanni Bellini, who taught him how to inculcate in his art a profound awareness of lighting, color, mood and atmosphere. Under the tutelage of Giovanni, Giorgione perfected his skills and polished his talents to perfection.
Giorgione’s work and artistic approach was also influenced by fellow painters, and several other Renaissance artists, writers and philosophers of Italy during that time. His later works have depicted a profound influence taken from the works of writers, philosophers and poets such as Jacopo Sannazzaro, Pietro Pomponazzi and Pietro Bembo.
In 1495, Giorgione produced his two earliest and most influential works, “The Trial of Moses” and the “Judgement of Soloman”. Most of his paintings depicted religious subjects and scenes, however, his paintings were also celebrated and noted for their lush and beautiful landscapes. Some of his highly acclaimed and widely discussed religious paintings include, “The Holy Family”, “Castelfranco Madonna” and “Adoration of the Shepherds”.
In 1505, Giorgione painted his magnum opus, “The Tempest”, which became his best-known work and firmly established his position as an acclaimed and influential artist. The painting was set in the background of a raging storm ready to break out in an extremely pleasant and peaceful landscape. “The Tempest” forces and encourages its viewers to explore the hidden symbolic meaning in its depictions. Some of Giorgione’s half-length portraits include, “The Laura”, “La Vecchia” and “The Young Man”.
Giorgione passed away in 1510 after the prolonged suffrage with the plague, in Venice, Italy, at the age of 33. Shortly before his death, he had begun working on the “Sleeping Venus”, however his death rendered his work incomplete. Young painter Titian took over this project, and completed the landscape in Giorgione’s “Sleeping Venus”.
Unfortunately, only five works by Giorgione have survived the trial and hazards of time, they include, “The Tempest,” “The Three Philosophers,” “Boy with an Arrow,” “Shepherd with a Flute” and “Sleeping Venus”.