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GIORGIONE


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The Tempest

GIORGIONE (Italy, 1477-1510)

1508
oil on canvas, 83 x 73 cm. - Venice, Galeria della Accademia.



One of the most talented painters of all time, Giorgione's artistic career was cut off with his death at age 32-33. We will never know for sure what place would he occupy in the history of Art if he had enjoyed a long existence, just like his direct artistic heir -Titian- did.

“The tempest (the storm)” is a true pictorial poem. Incredibly suggestive, the meaning of the picture is still open to many interpretations. The most outstanding element is the threatening lightning bolt over the towers and roofs of a strange city next to a river. We can also see a young woman nursing her son, a fragile figure when compared to the powerful storm. In the bottom left corner we see the figure of a young man holding a long staff, perhaps a soldier protecting the young lady. All these elements seem to be placed without any sense or logical relation among them. Perhaps this painting has a moral message. Or perhaps the painter wanted to paint a metaphor of the fragility and defencelessness of human being when compared to nature. Or perhaps “The Tempest” is nothing more than a painting whose illogical and incontestable beauty is closer to a musical melody than to a High Renaissance painting.

Text by G. Fernández, www.theartwolf.com

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