By Molly Boll


Giorgione was born in 1477 in Castelfranco, Italy. He spent most of his life in Venice, where he died at age 33 of the plague. He was mostly a self taught artist, but later became a student of Giovanni Bellini at age 13. Not much is known about his lifestyle, other than that besides art, he also was a musician. His only known patron was Fondaco dei Tedeschi, who commissioned Giorgione to paint frescoes.

The Holy Family

One of Giorgione's most famous works is The Holy Family, which was created around the year 1500. This painting currently resides at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. In the picture, Mary and Joseph are sitting with baby Jesus in the stable. In the background, there is a city, which I assume is Bethlehem. There is extreme detail in the clothing of the people, as well as in the background of the picture. The most prominent “ism” is idealism, because everything in the picture looks perfect. Mary and Joseph look healthy and happy, and the baby Jesus is fat and healthy. They are all beautiful and perfect. Giorgione used other "isms" in his works as well, such as Classicism for mythology in Venus, Secularism for pagan ideas and images, Perspectivism with vanishing points, and Naturalism because all subjects look normal and not posed. Giorgione used new techniques such as linear perspective and extreme detailing in his paintings. The piece is interesting to me because of the detail in the picture. The people look perfect, and yet normal at the same time. Giorgione captured their natural beauty perfectly.


"Giorgione." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Biography in Context. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.
Giorgione." International Dictionary of Art and Artists. Gale, 1990. Biography in Context. Web. 2 Dec.

The Holy Family. Giorgione. 1500. ARTstor [online]. 2 December 2015.

The Tempest. Giorgione. 1504. ARTstor [online]. 2 December 2015.