Giorgione, the Tempest
UNIVERZITA KOMENSKEHO FILOZOFICKA FAKULTA, KATEDRA DEJIN UMENIA Giorgione – The Tempest Odborna anglictina 4 Letny semester Linda Hobinkova Ak. rok 2010/11 2. rocnik Girogio da Castelfranco Founder of 16. century Venetian painting, who has place among the biggest renaissance artists. In history of art his works belong to the most problematical.
Some scholars give Giorgione credit for dozens of paintings in a variety of styles, others reduce the list to a bare half-dozen. Giorgione’s works arise between 1500 and 1510 in the time of big changes in venetian painting. In another names Zorzi da Castelfranco, Giorgione or Giorgio Barbarelli.  He was born in Castelfranco, on the Venetian mainland, probably about 1475-77. In 1510 in Venice he died, still young, of the plague. He came from modest family background.  His life before 1504 when he painted altarpiece in Castelfranco is unknown.
His name is recorded by a few documents of that time. First by 1507-8 supports that he painted a picture for Palazzo Ducale in Venice. Second states that in 1510 one of the most important Renaissance collector, Isabella d? Este, attempts to obtain one of „night“ paintings. This never happened because neither was for sale. Third states that he painted frescoes on facade of the Fondaco dei Tedeschi – residence of German merchants in Venice.  In 1530 about him writes patrician and art expert Marcantonio Michiel who mentions in his notes seven Giorgione’s pictures in private venetian collections.
In the late 16. century do not rumour any authentically information about Giorgione.  It is well known that he was trained by Giovanni Bellini’s workshop, popular in impressive using of colour and light. Giorgione together with Titian, who was little younger, continue with developing of master’s style and often co-operate on the same commission. In March 1500 Leonardo da Vinci was in Venice, from which Giorgione learned technique maniera moderna, that is sfumato, later typical for Titian. Vasari casts that from this moment he starts paint in modern way.
Giorgione moved in the most intellectual circles of Venice where he met with Neo-Platonist philosophers. He was permanent member of court assembled by Cyprian ex-queen Caterina Cornaro in Asola and where met poets, musicians and painters. This was reason why into Venetian art get temporal themes inspired by philosophical reflections and poetics and we have today problems determine their real sense.  His most important works where his authorship is undeniable are except The Tempest either Sleeping Venus, Nativity and Adoration of the Shepherds, Enthroned Madonna with Sts.
Liberalis and Francis and Three philosophers. Despite the short Giorgione’s activity his contribution to renaissance painting is very significant. His new style brought to painting individual sfumato, equal to Leonardo da Vinci which makes lights and shadows more vivid and impressive and so modern comprehension of landscape with pulsing life and sense. His work is filled with romantic atmosphere and intense atmospheric colours. Giorgione was mainly appreciated for his depicting of phenomenon of weather, thunderstorm, night mood or sunrise.  He developed perception and painting technique.
Wood was replaced with canvas, which is better for work. In his portraits knew interpret that strange trembling of human being what we can later see in Titian or El Greco. His figures are surrounded by melancholia and raising on the verge of dream.  Giorgione helped Italian art to do an important step forward. The Tempest Picture painted just before artist death in 1506 up to 1508 is relatively small-sized. Its size is 82 x 73cm. It is oil on canvas and nowadays is placed in Galleria dell’Academia in Venice. It arose to order of Venetian nobleman Gabriel Vendramin and in 1530 was mentioned as his property.
After Vendramin death duke of Bavaria Albert V. wants to buy this work but Vendramin? s heirs lock work in. In 1567-69 is painting mentioned in stock of Vendramin collection which was worked out by art committee which consists several significant artists. Then on 300 years painting sinks into oblivion and then in 1855 found forgotten painting Swiss art historian Jacob Burckhardt in Palazzo Manfrin in Venice. In 1932 the painting buy Italian state from prince Giovenelli and goes to Galleria dell’Accademia in Venice where is up to the present.
In the picture are situated three figures in the foreground. On the left is standing male figure in period costume of 16. century and on the right is sitting half-naked female figure nursing little child. Man is holding stick in his right hand, leaning on it and laying eyes on woman. Woman is sitting on white cloth and over her shoulders is threw another white cloth which covers her up together with bush. The white cloth can be symbol of purity but also can points out on connection with man who has white shirt. 10] Her direct view is oriented to beholder and she does not take notice of man and child. Figures are not very interested into thunderstorm. The view into background is open, we can see bridge, empty unkempt town and leaden sky from which flashes lightning. In actual fact it is fantastic landscape with trees and part of a town, where runs brook over with simple bridge. The scene is threatened by a storm cloud that casts a shadow on the bridge and by a bolt of lightning that illuminates the scene with a sudden glare. Lightening is often symbol of God’s anger as well as attribute of Zeus.
Town in the background is empty, only stork is on the roof of one house. The stork is Christian symbol of moral blamelessness, purity and vigilance. His presence supports the opinion that in the picture is hidden certain legacy.  Behind the man is broken column, which could mean bravery and moral power. Some scholars are of the opinion that under the elevation where the woman is sitting is snake escaping to the hiding. However the snake can be only root. Painting causes evocative mood tinged with coming storm in the background.
The author use mostly warm colour range and radial light. Figures are situated in rough landscape with trees and wild growing bushes as if uptown. Forest land is depicted very realistic mostly on leaves of particular plants. In the present is work named by Italian term La Tempesta, that means The Tempest. However it has not always been so. The reason is unclear subject of the work, which was under investigation of many scholars but still remains mysterious. The oldest identification is Soldier and the Gypsy, which is mentioned in the period when was in the house of Gabriel Vendramin.
Then the Venetian Marcantonio Michiel referred to it in his journal: „The little landscape on canvas with the tempest, with the gypsy and the soldier, was from the hand of Zorzi da Castelfranco“. Terming of figures at first sight seems like support for interpretation of picture but in fact it is only general characteristic of figures: „Gypsy“ means „half-nude and messy“ and „soldier“ means „guardian“.  When the work was mentioned in Vendramin? s stock of collection, the storm was not mentioned and soldier was shepherd.
One thing is certain, man does not have neither weapon for soldier nor sheep for shepherd. Common for these different jobs is only „guarding responsibility“. Man is maybe on guard of woman and child.  In 19. century when the painting was discovered again by Burckhardt, he termed subject as Giorgione with wife and child ahead of imminent thunderstorm. Apart from first three examples was work explained in the spirit of Old and New Testament. Italian archaeologist and historian of art, Salvatore Settis, interprets figures as Adam and Eva with son Cain in monograph from 1978.
According to Settis, these three figures are in the „country of ethic“, which in few features includes expulsion from Paradise and future fate of humanity. Adam and Eva, tempted by snake which is hidden in the foreground of the picture, were expelled from flooded positive town introducing something like „paradisus voluptatis“, dwelling of joys. Bridge leads through river of Paradise into now uninhabited town. Adam and Eva are having a rest, thinking about consequences of their sin, which is reminded by lightening from God. The lightening shows out of town what means out of Paradise.
Between Adam and Eva stay two broken columns which we can find in the cemeteries even today. Bush covers Eva’s nudity only poorly, she nursing even innocent Cain who will kill his brother Abel and guilt will have continuation to present day. Giorgione paints Adam in period costume what gives to contemporary spectator possibility to „enter“ into the picture and emotionally identify with action.  Another interpretation from Old Testament is Finding Moses. Moses is just escaped from basket from Nile by pharaoh’s daughter and is immediately handed over to foster mother who nursing him.
From New Testament is here maybe represented secularized story The rest during the escape to Egypt. Support it theory that man holds pilgrimage stick. The painting can be explained also mythological. Austrian art historian Franz Wickhoff suggests that figures represent heroes from roman composition Thebais from poet Statius – Adrastus and Hypsipyle. Another theory based on mythology is that nursing child is Dionysus, son of Zeus, who is looked after and hidden from Zeus wife Hera by nymph. Also convincing theory is about Paris, son of Trojan king.
However this scene does not represent Finding little Paris by shepherd and his wife in the forest but already adult Paris with nymph and their child. Paris is just giving her up in favour of Helena. This interpretation is supported by numerous details: river represents nymph’s home, storm and lightening mean destruction of Troy, Paris looks like soldier because he should protect Troy before devastation. As regards allegorical interpretations of picture, is it few too. The storm can depicts Fortuna who is ever unpredictable and unstable.
Soldier close by columns means Braveness, Gypsy nursing the child can be Charity. Both have nomadic and unstable life and so like virtues Braveness and Charity, depend on fickle mood of Fortuna. Also figures can be interpreted like Power, embodied in young soldier, which stays against Love to neighbour, which embodied nursing woman.  It is temporal themes inspired by philosophical reflections and poetics. Exists also historic interpretation of subject which says that threatened storm symbolize the then politic situation, armed patrician and nursing mother are probably allegory of war. 16] Some scholars attribute subject to picture and works of poets Petrarca and Boccaccio. Apart from all these mentioned possibilities exist even more interpretations which are less or more truthful. In 1939 an X-ray shows that where the soldier now stands Giorgione originally painted a nude woman bathing. It is to say that nude woman on the right is the same figure after bath. A change from the nude woman to clothed soldier seems completely illogical in the context of any narrative, and suggests that the painting could be a caprice–a painting of a mood–on Giorgione’s part.
Painting The Tempest is one of the most famous landscapes of early Renaissance, from which later arise 17. and 18. century landscape.  The landscape which at that time represented only background of pictures is now as such the theme and to a certain extent executed subject.  It is „excited“ landscape, component, that was managed only by art of Settecento and by Monet. Giorgione here innovative use light and colours which are harmonized element of diverse ideas of picture. He perfectly depicted mood of situation what was inspiration for later artists.
Painting reveals new components of Giorgione style, for example using oil painting technique or refusing symmetric composition characteristic of works other painters.  In Gabriel Vendramin? s testament is written that from his pictures takes pleasure „equanimity and peace of mind“. Survey Questionnaire: 1. Do you know this picture? 2. From which period it comes from? 3. What impression do you get from it 4. Do you know artist Giorgione? 5. What it reflects? 6. Where would you classify this painting? a. portrait b. landscape c. historical event d. still life 7. Do you know any other works by Giorgione? . Has it positive or negative effect? Survey was carried out among 10 people. 3 were my family, not interested in art and 7 were my schoolmates. I asked everybody 8 questions which were oriented to the main picture- The Tempest. The survey was conducted by means of a questionnaire given to them to complete. There were eight questions, two open, one involved ticking items. The first question asking if they know that painting was determining for me. If somebody said no, it was little difficult for him answer to next questions. Second question concerns period of painting.
Questions number three and eight ask for feelings about this picture. Number four and seven focus on Giorgione himself. Questions five and six ask for the depiction. Answer to a first question was the most frequent “yes”, only in two cases respondents answer “no”. Both were from the group of people which are not interested in art. To a second question everybody answered “renaissance” that was correct. Answers to third question were silence, fear, loneliness, depressing, mysterious and doubtfulness. The painter Giorgione and his works know everybody from my schoolmates except my family.
According to answers to fifth question painting reflects woman with child before tempest, Mary with little Jesus and with shepherd or mythological scene. Answers to sixth question were the most often incorrect. Right is landscape but most of respondents said anything else but not the right. Except of a few exceptions have this painting negative effect to person. In conclusion I can say that this painting is very famous for people who engage in art but for the general public it is not very interesting and people don’t know paintings like this.
It was little difficult designed the right questions if want to fit both of them. Used literature: JOHANNSEN, R. H. : Slavne malby. 50 najvyznamnejsich malieb dejin umenia. Bratislava 2004 HARTT, F. , WILKINS, D. G. : History of italian renaissance art. Painting sculpture architecture. Londyn 2007 VASARI, G. : Lives of the painters sculptors and architects. Volume Two. Velka Britania 1927 CUMMING, R. : Slavne obrazy. Analyza a vyklad najslavnejsich obrazov na svete. Bratislava 1996 FIOCCO, G. : Giorgione. Praha CHATELET, A. , PRESSOUYREOVA, S. : Maliarstvo v Benatkach. In. CHATELET, A. , GROSLIER, B. P. (ed. ): Svetove dejiny umenia. Maliarstvo, socharstvo, architektura, uzitkove umenie. Praha 2004 HOLINGSWORTHOVA, M. : Umenie v dejinach sveta. Bratislava 2006 MARIE, R. , HAGEN, R. : What Great Paintings Say. Volume 2. Kolin 2003, s. 107-111 accessible in http://books. google. com/books? id=OWe3lPyY_GIC&pg=PA110&dq=the+tempest ,+giorgione&hl=sk&ei=VkgHTZD-DMfBswbSr-n8DQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CCkQ6AEwATgU#v=onepage&q=the%20tempest%2C%20giorgione&f=false (till14. 12. 2010) Pictorial supplement: [pic] The Tempest [pic] pic] X-ray picture ———————–  Giorgio is in Venetian dialect Zorzi.  According to a tradition retold by Vasari, „Big George“ („-one“ is the Italian suffix for „big“) was given to worldly delights and was a good conversationalist and great lover. He sang beautifully, accompanying himself on the lute. €? Eo Ai? o – . D J • – ? o o ( ) , @ A p ? ‘ ’ ” s © i i ? 0 = Barbarelli is surname which was incorrectly added to him by some scholars. In fact his surname is unkonown.  Some scholars guessed that he was son of provincial lord from Venetian Alps.
That is the reason why he got surname Barbarelli.  Except of minute remains are this frescoes distroyed.  JOHANNSEN, R. H. : Slavne malby. 50 najvyznamnejsich malieb dejin umenia. Bratislava 2004, s. 79  CHATELET, A. , PRESSOUYREOVA, S. : Maliarstvo v Betatkach. In. : CHATELET, A. , GROSLIER, B. P. (ed. ): Svetove dejiny umenia. Maliarstvo, socharstvo, architektura, uzitkove umenie. Praha 2004 , p. 367  JOHANNSEN (quotation in note 7), s. 79  CHATELET (quotation in note 8), s. 367  CUMMING, R. : Slavne obrazy. Analyza a vyklad najslavnejsich obrazov na svete.
Bratislava 1996, p. 29  Ibidem p. 28  JOHANNSEN (quotation in note 7), p. 76  CUMMING (quotation in note 11), p. 29  JOHANNSEN (quotation in note 7), p. 76  CHATELET (quotation in note 8 ), p. 367  HOLINGSWORTHOVA, M. : Umenie v dejinach sveta. Bratislava 2006. p. 266,267 It results from the then politic situation of Venice when Venetians wanted again recapture Padua. On this battle took part also members of Vendramin family.  CUMMING (quotation in note 11), p. 28  JOHANNSEN (quotation in note 7), p. 75 HOLINGSWORTHOVA (quotation in note 19 ), p. 267