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Giorgio Barbarelli da Castelfranco, nicknamed Giorgione, was born in 1478. He belongs to the best representatives of the Venetian school of painting.
The biography of the master is not fully known, there is little information preserved, even the exact date of his birth is unknown. Historians have established that his hometown was Castelfranco Veneto near Venice, and the artist got his name by the name of this city. As a young man, Giorgione became a student of the famous Giovanni Bellini in Venice. This city was then a major political, commercial center. It actively developed and supported various arts and crafts.
The first painting, performed by the artist completely independently, was the painting "Christ Carrying the Cross", created in 1497. Three years later, he happened to meet the great Leonardo da Vinci (according to the surviving records of Vasari). After another 4 years, he wrote “Madonna Castelfranco” - an altar image in the chapel of St. George in the city cathedral.
This large canvas is the only one painted by a master for the church. It is the only one that is not in doubt in the authorship of Giorgione. All other paintings can be made by him in collaboration with students. Also confusing in the attribution of paintings is the fact that the artist was imitated and followed by many artists of that era, including such large ones as Titian, who, after the untimely death of Giorgione, finished some of his unfinished paintings.
Over his short life, the artist has created several works that have significantly affected the art of that time. Among them is “Judith” with an original interpretation of the biblical plot, “The Tempest”, “Three Philosophers”, “Laura”, “Sleeping Venus”, “Thunderstorm”, “Reading Madonna” and many others.
A characteristic feature of Giorgione's painting, which was successfully adopted by other Renaissance artists, is a reverent attitude to the image of the landscape. With him, he not only acts as a backdrop for figures, but is an important part of the picture itself. A lot of attention is devoted to the landscape, its details are perfectly painted and complement the canvas, making it complete and expressive.
A characteristic feature of the paintings of Giorgione is the extreme clarity of the image with the perfect unity of all elements. In his works, this is achieved using the finest play of color and chiaroscuro, due to which the canvas is saturated with air and receives volume, spatial depth.
Like all artists of this era, he used geometric motifs to create his works. They were reflected in the study of composition, the use of perspective, architectural details. All this organically connects a person with the surrounding space, making him a part of nature.
The master’s paintings are filled with color and light, but they do not irritate the eye with excessive motley, because all the tones are harmoniously matched and do not enter into confrontation with each other. Canvases always look natural and delicate even when using a large number of saturated, intense colors.
The influence of Giorgione on the painting of his contemporaries and followers is difficult to overestimate. Although he lived only about 33 years, the master managed to do much more than other painters who lived much longer.
The artist's life was cut short at the end of 1510 during the plague epidemic. The world has lost a great talent that could reach incredible heights in his work.