1.3.1.5 – Venetian School – 1450-1580

Forward to 1.3.2 High Renaissance and Mannerism
Back to 1.3.1.4 Northern Renaissance – Back to 1.3.1 Renaissance Index

QUICK LINKS
St Francis in Ecstacy, Bellini
Procession True Cross, Bellini
Doge Leonardo Loredan, Bellini
San Zaccaria Altarpiece, Bellini
Tempest, Giorgione
Sleeping Venus, Giorgione/Titian
Sacred Profane Love, Titian
Portrait of a Man, Titian
Assumption Virgin, Titian Bacchus and Ariadne, Titian
Bacchanal Andrians, Titian

Alfonso d’Avalos, Titian
Venus of Urbino, Titian
Man Blue-Green Eyes, Titian
Danaë, Titian
Danaë Shower of Gold, Titian
Pope Paul III, Titian
Emperor Charles V, Titian
Venus and Adonis, Titian
Diana and Actaeon, Titian
Rape of Europa, Titian
[1315-10]


The Venetian School refers to the distinctive art that developed in Renaissance Venice beginning in the late 1400s, and which, led by the brothers Giovanni and Gentile Bellini, lasted until 1580. It’s also called the Venetian Renaissance, and its style shared the Humanist values, the use of linear perspective, and naturalistic figurative treatments of Renaissance art in Florence and Rome.

[Source: theartstory.org]

[1315-10]


Image source: Wikimedia commons
The Ecstasy of Saint Francis (or St Francis in the Desert) was a private commission for a domestic setting. It depicts a scene from the life of St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226): possibly the moment that he received the stigmata in 1224.

The work is important for two reasons. It is one of the first Renaissance paintings of stigmatization in which there is no sign of a seraph. Second, it illustrates how Bellini combines the realism of Netherlandish Renaissance art, with the spatial depth of the Florentine Renaissance and the glowing colour palette used in both Venetian altarpieces and Venetian portraiture.
[Source: visual-arts-cork.com]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
St Francis in Ecstacy1476 – 1480Oil/TmpHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Bellini, Giovannic1426-1516, aged 90Italian painter VeniceVenetian School
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1315-11]

Frick Collection, New York USA125 x 142

Image source: Wikimedia commons
The painting was commissioned for the Grand Hall of the Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista, the seat of the eponymous brotherhood in Venice.

The commission included a total of nine large canvasses, by prominent artists of the time such as Bellini, Lazzaro Bastiani, Vittore Carpaccio, Giovanni Mansueti, Perugino, and Benedetto Rusconi. The subject of the paintings were to be the miracles of a fragment of the True Cross. The item had been donated to the brotherhood by Philippe de Mézières, chancellor of the Kingdom of Cyprus and Jerusalem in 1369, and soon became the object of veneration in the city.
[Source: Wikimedia commons]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Procession of the True Cross in St Mark’s Square 1496Tmp/CnvHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Bellini, Gentile c1429-1507, aged 77Italian painter VeniceVenetian School
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1315-12]

Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice Italy367 x 745  
 Leonardo Loredan knows that he is being looked at, but he does not return our gaze. He is the doge, the ruler of the Venetian Republic; elected in 1501, ruled until his 1521 death.

He wears white silk damask robes woven with gold and silver metal thread, clothing reserved for the most splendid occasions, including the feasts of Candlemas and the Annunciation.

The armless, half-length potrait representation recalls classical marble busts of emperors. These were adopted in the Renaissance period for sculpted portraits of the powerful and wealthy.
[Source: nationalgallery.org.uk]

Image source: Wikimedia commons
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Doge Leonardo Loredan, Portrait of the1501-2Oil/WdPortrait
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Bellini, Giovannic1426-1516, aged 90Italian painter VeniceVenetian School
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1315-13]

National Gallery, London UK62 x 45  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
 Bellini’s famous altarpiece can be seen in the church it was made for, San Zaccaria, in Venice. San Zaccaria (St Zachary) is not a common name for a church, it is among a handful of Venetian churches named after Old Testament saints.

According to Byzantine tradition, Christ spent three days in the underworld, breaking open the gates of hell (the ‘harrowing of hell’) to release the souls of the pre-Christian righteous who would otherwise not be able to share in the eternal life made possible by his crucifixion.

Adam and Eve were the first to emerge, followed by other Old Testament people like Moses, Job and Zachary, all three of whom have churches named after them in Venice.

The fact that such an altarpiece was commissioned from Bellini, who was the official civic painter of Venice, is a testament to the importance of the group of nuns who occupied the church monastery, many of them the daughters of prominent patrician families.
[Source: khanacademy.org]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
San Zaccaria Altarpiece1522Oil/CanvasHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Bellini, Giovanni1490-1576, aged 88Italian painter VeniceVenetian School
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1315-14]

San Zaccaria, Venice Italy175 x 190  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
This painting was commissioned by the Venetian noble Gabriele Vendramin, the painting is now in the Gallerie dell’Accademia of Venice.

On the right a woman sits, suckling a baby. The woman has been described as a ‘Gypsy’ since at least 1530, and in Italy, the painting is also known as La Zingara e il Soldato (The Gypsy woman and the soldier).

Her pose is unusual – normally the baby would be held on the mother’s lap; but in this case the baby is positioned at the side of the mother, so as to expose her pubic area.

A man, possibly a soldier (or a shepherd, a gypsy, or a member of a club of unmarried men), holding a long staff or pike, stands in contrapposto on the left. He smiles and glances to the left, but does not appear to be looking at the woman.

Despite considerable discussion by art historians, the meaning of the scene remains elusive.
[Source: Wikimedia commons]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Tempest, The1506-8Oil/CnvLandscape
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Giorgione, Giorgio da Castelfranco1478-1510, aged 32Italian painter VeniceVenetian School
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1315-15]

Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence Italy83 x 73  
This is the first large-scale representation of a female nude painted in Venice. A masterly harmony lies over the sleeping figure and the wide landscape. Before this, the motif had only been used for small-scale panels for wedding chests. Moreover, for the first time a figure has been convincingly situated in the depth of space.
[Source: artsandculture.google.com]

Image source: Wikimedia commons
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Sleeping Venusc1510Oil/CnvPortrait
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Giorgione, completed by Titian1490-1576, aged 88Italian painter VeniceVenetian School
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1315-16]

Old Masters Picture Gallery, Dresden Germany109 x 175  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
 Commissioned by Nicolo Aurelio, whose coat of arms it bears. It was on the occasion of his marriage to Laura Bagarotto in 1514.

This painting was given its title by a inventory of the Borghese collection in 1693, prior to this it was called #Beauty adorned and Beauty unadorned’. Modern scholarship has continued to debate the significance of the subject, but most observers have instinctively recognized the composition as a form of dialogue.

It perhaps depicts a figure representing the bride dressed in white, sitting beside Cupid and accompanied by the goddess Venus.
[Source: titian.org]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Sacred and Profane Love1513-4Oil/CnvHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Titian/ Tiziano Vecelli1490-1576, aged 88Italian painter VeniceVenetian School
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1315-17]

Galeria Borghese, Rome Italy118 x 279  

Image source: nationalgallery,org.uk
The subdued and elegant portrait provides a fascinating comparison to the National Gallery’s Portrait of Gerolamo Barbarigo. Both portraits show the sitter in three-quarter profile behind a parapet. This format may reflect Titian’s knowledge of portrait prints by Dürer.

The pose enables Titian to show off his skill in painting fabrics. The sitter’s face appears luminous against the dark background of a niche.

Titian’s careful observation and sensitive portrayal demonstrate why he was so highly sought after as a portraitist. He used the sitter’s features to convey his personality and mood.
[Source: nationalgallery.org.uk]

TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Man, Portrait of a 1515-20Oil/CnvPortrait
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Titian/ Tiziano Vecelli1490-1576, aged 88Italian painter VeniceVenetian School
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1315-18]

National Gallery, London UK93 x 71  
The Assumption of the Virgin shows Titian’s early career tendency towards vivid colours and luminous qualities. Later his style evolved to subtler shades of colour and highly lifelike shadows.

The composition of the painting is brilliantly designed to lead the eyes upwards in a pyramid shape, beginning with the red robed apostles at the bottom, to Mary’s red dress, and finally to the red tunic of God himself at the top.
[Source: titian.org]

Image source: titian.org
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Assumption of the Virgin, The1516-1518Oil/PanelHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Titian/ Tiziano Vecelli1490-1576, aged 88Italian painter VeniceVenetian School
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1315-19]

Basilica S Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice Italy690 x 360  

Image source: titian.org
One of the most famous paintings in the National Gallery, Titian’s Bacchus and Ariadne illustrates a story told by the classical authors Ovid and Catullus.

The Cretan princess Ariadne has been abandoned on the Greek island of Naxos by Theseus, whose ship sails away in the distance. Bacchus, god of wine, falls in love at first sight with Ariadne and leaps from his chariot towards her. Later, Bacchus throws Ariadne’s crown into the air, immortalising her as the constellation Corona Borealis, represented by the stars above her head.

This painting is one of a celebrated series by Giovanni Bellini, Titian and the Ferrarese artist Dosso Dossi. These were commissioned by Alfonso I d’Este, Duke of Ferrara for his Camerino d‘Alabastro (Alabaster Room) at the Ferrara Ducal Palace. All the pictures are bacchanals, completed from 1514 to 1525.
[Source: nationalgallery.org.uk]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Bacchus and Ariadne 1522Oil/CnvHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Titian/ Tiziano Vecelli1490-1576, aged 88Italian painter VeniceVenetian School
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1315-20]

National Gallery, London UK175 x 190  
Having delivered the Bacchus and Ariadne in 1523 Titian then painted The Andrians, also inspired by Philostratus (Imagines I, 25).

The scene is set on the island of Andros, a place so favoured by Bacchus that a stream flows with wine. Gods, men and children unite in the celebration of the effects of wine, whose consumption, in Philostratus´ words, makes men rich, dominant, generous to their friends, handsome and four cubits high.
[Source: museodelprado.es]

Image source: Wikimedia commons
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Bacchanal of the Andrians, The1666-7Oil/CnvHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Titian/ Tiziano Vecelli1632-1675, aged 43Dutch painter DelftDutch Golden Age
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1315-21]

Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid Spain23 x 18  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
Portrait of Alfonso d’Avalos with a Page depicts a general in the service of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. Titian produced the work in Bologna.

It has been in the Getty Museum in Los Angeles since 2004.
[Source: Wikimedia commons]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Alfonso d’Avalos with a Page, Portrait of1533Oil/CnvPortrait
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Titian/ Tiziano Vecelli1490-1576, aged 88Italian painter VeniceVenetian School
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1315-22]

J Paul Getty Museum, Pacific Palisades CA USA110 x 80  
 This is one of Titian’s most famous works and it depicts the emblematic figure of a young bride about to be dressed to take part in the celebration of the ritual known in Venice as “il toccamano”. It was a ceremony held in the home and not in church, during which a young woman whose hand was requested in marriage would touch the hand of the groom to express her consent.

Titian takes this as his inspiration for a seductive Venus, using an iconography that began in the early Renaissance, inspired by the ancient depiction of the “Venus pudica”.

The girl, lying naked on a bed with crumpled sheets, gazes out at the onlooker in a flirtatious, allusive manner, while hiding her pubis with her left hand and holding a bunch of roses, the emblem of Venus and of the pleasure and constancy of love in her right. At the foot of the bed, the sleeping dog is a reference to fidelity in marriage.

The background shows an elegant room of the kind distinctive to a rich patrician home in 16th-century Venice. There are two maids, one intent on searching in the painted chest from which she has just removed the sumptuous gold and light blue wedding dress that can be seen on the shoulder of the other maid, standing to the right. On the window sill is a pot of myrtle, a traditional plant linked to Venus, and a further reference to the constancy in love already alluded to by the dog at the foot of the bed.
[Source: uffizi.it]

Image source: italian-renaissance-art.com
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Venus of Urbino 1538Oil/CnvPortrait
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Titian/ Tiziano Vecelli1490-1576, aged 88Italian painter VeniceVenetian School
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1315-23]

Uffizi Gallery,  Florence Italy119 x 165  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
Portrait of a Young Man with Blue-Green Eyes (aka Portrait of a Young Englishman) is on show at the Palazzo Pitti. Its subject is unidentified, but may be Henry Howard, Ottavio Farnese or Ippolito Rominaldi.
[Source: Wikimedia commons]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Man with the Blue-Green Eyes, The (The Portrait of a Young Englishman)1540-1545Oil/CnvPortrait
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Titian/ Tiziano Vecelli1490-1576, aged 88Italian painter VeniceVenetian School
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1315-25]

Palazzo Pitti, Florence Italy111 x 97  

Image source: Wikimedia commons
Titian painted several versions of Danaë depicting the moment in which Jupiter possesses the princess in the form of golden rain.

Titian painted his first Danaë in Rome in 1544-45 for Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, in reference to the Cardinal´s love affair with a courtesan.
[Source: Wikimedia commons]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Danaë (six versions)1544-5Oil/CnvHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Titian/ Tiziano Vecelli1490-1576, aged 88Italian painter VeniceVenetian School
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1315-24]

Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples Italy120 x 172  

This next Danaë was created for Philip II, in which Cupid was replaced by an old nursemaid, this enriched the painting by creating a series of sophisticated counterpoints: youth versus old age; beauty versus loyalty; a nude figure versus a dressed figure.

This Danaë is today on show at the Museo del Prado. The work featured a looser execution than earlier versions and has an extraordinary quality.
[Source: museodelprado.es]

Image source: museodelprado.es
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Danaë and the Shower of Gold1544-45Oil/CnvHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Titian/ Tiziano Vecelli1490-1576, aged 88Italian painter VeniceVenetian School
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1315-26]

Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid Spain130 x 181  
This painting was commissioned by the Farnese family and painted during Titian’s visit to Rome between autumn 1545 and June 1546. It depicts the scabrous relationship between Pope Paul III and his grandsons, Ottavio and Alessandro Farnese.

Ottavio is shown in the act of kneeling, to his left; Alessandro, wearing a cardinal’s dress, stands behind him to his right.

The painting explores the effects of ageing and the manoeuvring behind succession; Paul was at the time in his late seventies and ruling in an uncertain political climate as Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor came into ascendancy.
[Source: Wikimedia commons]

Image source: Wikimedia commons
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Pope Paul III with his Grandsons1546Oil/CnvPortrait
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Titian/ Tiziano Vecelli1490-1576, aged 88Italian painter VeniceVenetian School
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1315-27]

Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples Italy210 x 176  

Image source: museodelprado.es
This portrait commemorates Charles V’s victory over the Schmalkaldic League at Mühlberg on 24 April 1547.

It was created between April and September 1548 while Titian was at the imperial court of Augsburg.

The Emperor is equipped in the manner of the light cavalry with a half pike and wheel-lock pistol. His suit of armour was made around 1545 by Desiderius Helmschmid and has an image of the Virgin and Child on the breastplate, as was customary with Charles’ armour from 1531.
[Source: museodelprado.es]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Emperor Charles V at Mühlberg 1547Oil/CnvPortrait
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Titian/ Tiziano Vecelli1490-1576, aged 88Italian painter VeniceVenetian School
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1315-28]

Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid Spain335 x 283  
Titian was inspired, by tales from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, to paint what he called poesie, or poetry in paint. Here, Venus tries to stop her lover from departing for the hunt, fearing – correctly – that he would be killed. The mood of sensuality, conveyed by the beautiful depiction of Venus, seen from the back, enhances the viewer’s sense of the tragic end to this story, expressed through their exchanged glances and the frightened Cupid. Titian’s workshop made multiple versions of this composition, but this one is of exceptional quality and was painted by Titian himself.
[Source: metmuseum.org]

Image source: Wikimedia commons
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Venus and Adonis1553-4Oil/CnvPortrait
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Titian/ Tiziano Vecelli1490-1576, aged 88Italian painter VeniceVenetian School
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1315-29]

Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid Spain186 x 207  

Image source: titian.org
 While out hunting, Actaeon accidentally stumbles upon the secret bathing place of Diana, chaste goddess of the hunt, and sees her naked. His fate is foretold by the stag’s skull on the plinth and the skins of Diana’s former prey hanging above her head. The conclusion of the story is shown in another painting by Titian in the National Gallery, The Death of Actaeon. The outraged goddess transforms Actaeon into a stag to be torn apart by his own hounds.

The paintings were part of a famous series of mythological pictures made for King Philip II of Spain when Titian was at the height of his powers.
[Source: nationalgallery.org.uk]
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Diana and Actaeon1556-9Oil/CnvHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Titian/ Tiziano Vecelli1490-1576, aged 88Italian painter VeniceVenetian School
LOCATION:SIZE (cms): [1315-30]

National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh UK185 x 202  
 The title of the painting refers to the mythological story of the abduction of Europa by Zeus (Jupiter to the Romans).

In the myth, the god assumed the form of a bull and enticed Europa to climb onto his back. Once there, the bull rode into the sea and carried her to Crete, where he revealed his real identity. Europa became the first Queen of Crete, and had three children with Zeus.

It hangs in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum of Boston, MA USA.
[Source: wikimedia commons]

Image source: titian.org
TITLE:YEAR:FORM:GENRE:
Rape of Europa, The1559-62Oil/CnvHistory Painting
ARTIST:DATES:ORIGIN:MOVEMENT:
Titian/ Tiziano Vecelli1490-1576, aged 88Italian painter VeniceVenetian School
LOCATION:SIZE (cms):  
Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum, Boston USA178 x 205  

Forward to 1.3.2 High Renaissance and Mannerism
Back to 1.3.1.4 Northern Renaissance – Back to 1.3.1 Renaissance Index

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *