Giorgio da Castelfranco
Anthony J. Rainey
Born in 1477 Castelfranco, Italy - Died in 1510 Venice, Italy
Lived to 33 years old when he died of the plague. His name "Giorgione" means "Tall George" in Italian. There are not many records on Giorgione's childhood, but it has been told that he is good-looking, a good musician, and a lover. Since Giorgione died at such a young age, it is possible that he spent at least half of his life growing up in Castelfranco. This is most likely where he stayed until he was apprenticed to the famous Giovanni Bellini in 1490.
Giorgione created many magnificent pieces of art, although lots of them have been destroyed by father time. Today only a few identifiable pieces are found to be made by Giorgione. Some of his well known pieces are "The Tempest, The Three Philosophers and The Sunset (aka Il Tramonto in Italian)". Its likely that Giorgione had an unknown patron or many venetian patricians. One of the biggest collectors during the time was Isabella d' Este. Giorgione's pupil, Titian, painted for Isabella after he passed away. Titian also finished some of Giorgione paintings that were left behind.
Giorgione has a few religious paintings, but most of them revolve around Secularism and Humanism. "The Sleeping Venus" shows secularism by portraying the Roman Goddess of Love. The current religions during this time were Roman Catholic and Christianity. "The Self-Portrait of Giorgione" (shown above) represents humanism because it is non-religious. Many artist create portraits of others, this shows a time moving away from religion and into free thought and expression.
The Sunset (Il Tramonto)
This piece was created between 1506-1510 and is currently on display at the National Gallery in London. When this piece was found nearly 80 years ago, it was in terrible shape. Now today it was been restored three times. This makes it unclear what kind of techniques Giorgione might have used on this painting.
I like this painting because.....
One of the major reasons why I picked Giorgione as my Renaissance Artist was every time I looked at this image I find something new in it. The detail is amazing for the time period it was made in. If you look closely enough you see a small river town being overlooked by a huge city. In the distant view you can make out towers that are shaded in blue night sky, while from farther away you can see the different shades of yellow and orange of the sunset. There is a knight killing a mutant dog and two people helping each other. My most recent discovery is a small crow's head at the bottom of the painting (which seriously creeped me out). The different elements that Giorgione put into this painting made it hard for me to identify what he was trying to tell me.
-Isms in Il Tramonto
Giorgione's Sunset is an example of skepticism. This can be found at crow's head at the bottom of the painting. Perhaps, the crow's head represented death or the plague, as it stared at it's helpless victims. The horseman was also a bit skeptic. What was it killing, why was he so far away from home? Did the knight fighting the creature represent war? Giorgione's painting has many double meanings and brought up many questions in general.
Giorgione. Il Tramonto . 1510. Photograph. The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square,
"Giorgione." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Biography in Context.
Web. 16 Nov. 2013.
Giorgione." 2013. The Biography Channel website. Nov 16 2013, 04:02
AR: Giorgione, 1477-1511
TI: Enthroned Madonna and Child
TI: Castelfranco Altarpiece
AR: Giorgione, active 1506 died 1510
TI: Il Tramonto (The Sunset)
DS: The National Gallery, London
DS: Bought, 1961
AR: schilder: anoniem verworpen toeschrijving schilder: Giorgione
TI: Woman with Unicorn Saint Justine (?) as Personification of Chastity [Vrouw met eenhoorn De heilige Justine (?) als personificatie van de kuisheid (voormalige titel)]
DT: ca. 1510
DS: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam