Context Spread of the Ottoman Empire• The Italian city of Venice was a trade and maritime power thatreached its apex in the 1400s. By the 1500s, its stronghold ontrade between Europe and the Middle East began to slip.• Although Venice managed to retain its sovereignty for theduration of the 1500s, it was constantly under threat.• The Turks of the Ottoman Empire to the east took control ofConstantinople in 1453, and became a constant threat to andcompetitor with Venice for eastern trade.• Although not a military threat, the Netherlands developedports that directly competed with Venice for trade.• To the west, Venice was coveted by Spain, France, the HolyRoman Empire, and the Papal States (who at one point, in analliance known as the League of Cambrai led by Pope Julius II,even attempted to take control of Venice).• Other European nations, such as Spain, had recently sentexplorers to the New World, and were reaping the benefits.
Library of Saint Mark’s• Jacopo Sansovino was from Florence, who originally trained as Librarya sculptor. In 1518, he went to Rome, and was influenced byBramante. In 1527, he fled Rome (under attack) to Venice. Mint• Sansovino’s most important buildings were the rusticated,fortress-like Mint, and the State Library in the heart of theisland city, next to the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Cathedral.• Bottom floor of the Library has smooth Tuscan order columnstopped with a Doric frieze, creating a plain but solid base.• Second story features the lighter and more decorative Ionicorder columns. Inside this floor was the reading room, whichhoused manuscripts (and kept them safe from frequent floods).• Second story also has smaller colonnettes inside each arch,which are 2/3 the size of the main columns, and accentuate thespringing of the arches and the verticality of the building. The State Library,• Putti holding garland decorate entablature Jacopo Sansovino, 1536. Piazzo San Marco,• Design echoes the Gothic Doge’s Palace in matching spacing Venice, Italyof lower arcade, decorative second stories, and softened roof.• Top is capped with a balustrade decorated with finialsculptures.
Villa Rotonda• Andrea Palladio (born Andrea di Pietro of Padua) derived hisname from Pallas Athena, goddess of wisdom.• Palladio was the chief architect of Venice from 1570-80.• He began as a stonemason, but turned to architecture at age30. He visited Rome to study buildings and the writings ofVitruvius.• In 1570 he published his own treatise on architecture, TheFour Books of Architecture, which also influenced England andAmerican plantation architecture.• He built many countryside villas for aristocrats whosedeclining fortunes lead them to develop their swampy country Villa Rotondaproperties into productive farms. Andrea Palladio Vicenza, Italy,• The Villa Rotonda, however, was built for a retired monsignor c. 1550-1570.who wanted a villa for social events.• It is a belvedere (“beautiful view,” house on a hill with a view)• Central plan. All four sides have identical Roman ionic templefaçade, allowing views in all four directions.• Similar to the Pantheon and Tempietto.
San Giorgio Maggiore • Located on a small island across the Grand Canal from Piazza San Marco (Saint Mark’s Plaza) • Palladio attempted to integrate the high central nave with the lower aisles into a unified façade by superimposing a tall and narrow classical porch on a low broad one.San Giorgio Maggiore • This combination was visually irrational and ambiguous,Andrea Palladio consistent with the contemporaneous Mannerist architecture.Venice, ItalyBegun 1566 • His design created the illusion of depth through the strong projection of the central columns, and the shadows they cast. • The play of light and shadow across the surface of the building, and the contrast of bright white against the blue of sea and sky create a vivid, colorful effect. • The interior of the church is crisp, symmetrical, logical, and rooted in High Renaissance style.
Venetian Painting Style Sunset in Venice• In the late 1470s, the Venetian artist Giovanni Bellini wasintroduced to Flemish oil painting techniques by another artist whohad studied in Naples.• Oil paint allowed for a wider range of color than tempera orfresco, as well as softer edges.• Venetian artists began painting on canvas, as the humidity ofVenice caused wood panels to warp and crack.• Venetian artists focused on conveying the warm, glowing light oftheir city.• Central Italian artists focused more on carefully prepared designsand preliminary drawings (disegno), whereas Venetian artistsfocused on color and the process of paint application.• Thematically, central Italian artists focused more on intellectualthemes (the epic of humanity, the masculine virtues, the grandeurof the ideal), while Venetian artists painted the poetry of thesenses and delighted in nature’s beauty and the pleasures ofhumanity.
Madonna and Child Madonna and Child with Saints with Saints, San • Bellini was trained by his father Jacopo (a student of Gentile Zaccaria Altarpiece da Fabriano) in International Style, and was also influenced by Giovanni Bellini his brother in law, Andrea Mantegna. 1505. Oil on wood transferred to canvas. • In the late 1470s, he learned how to mix oils with tempera 16’ 5” x 7’ 9”. from Antonello de Messina, who trained in Naples and learned San Zaccaria, Venice. from the Flemish painters. • He then left the linear style of Mantegna and developed a sensuous coloristic manner, first seen in his painting St. Francis in the Desert. • A trend at this time was to paint saints from different eras in the same painting, called a sacra conversazione (sacred conversation). • Here Mary and the Christ child are flanked by four saints, each with their symbol (Peter with a key and book, Catherine with the palm of a martyr and broken wheel, Lucy with a tray holding her plucked out eyes, and Jerome, with the bible he helped translate). An angel plays a viol below. • Sense of serenity and calm is created by the soft, gentle colors that create a radiant atmospheric haze that softens or erases any hard outlines. St. Francis in the DesertGiovanni Bellini. 1480. Oil & Tempera.
Feast of the Gods, by Bellini and TitianCamerino d’Alabastro, Palazzo Ducale, Ferrara, Italy. Feast of the Gods 1529. Oil on canvas, 5’ 7” x 6’ 2”. • 25 years after the San Zaccaria altarpiece, Bellini collaborated with his greatest student, Titian. • Commissioned by the Duke of Ferrara, Alfonso d’Este for the Alabaster Room, a private apartment in the Palazzo Ducale. Originally, Alfonso hired four painters (Bellini, Titian, Raphael, and Fra Bartolommeo), one to paint each wall, but Raphael and Bartolommeo died before completion. Each wall was to convey a classical theme chosen by humanist scholar Mario Equicola, and all involved depictions of Venus (love) and Bacchus (wine). • Arcadian background borrowed from Giorgione (Arcadia is a rural area of southern Greece; Arcadian came to mean an idyllic place of rustic serenity). • This painting depicts the gods, dressed as peasants, enjoying an afternoon picnic, waited on by satyrs and nymphs (based on Roman poet Ovid’s Fasti, which described gods banqueting). • Warm afternoon light falls softly across the figures. • The cooler tones in the background make it appear to recede into the distance.
The Tempest The Tempest by Giorgione da Castelfranco. c. 1510. Oil on canvas. 2’ 8” x 2’ 4”.• Painted by the short-lived Giorgione da Castelfranco (died in1510 at age 33).• Giorgione was a student of Bellini, and a renowned musician(lute and singing).• Giorgione was interested in depicting Arcadian landscapes. AfterGiorgione’s death, Bellini adopted Giorgione’s style to thebackground of the Feast of the Gods.• This painting is an example of poesia, a painting meant tooperate in a manner similar to poetry, with a focus on the lyricaland sensual, without a concrete narrative.• Venetian artists were influenced by both classical andRenaissance poetry.• Although the lush setting seems tranquil, storm clouds threatenin the distance.• In the foreground, a man with a halberd (spear-ax) and a nursingwoman and child wait mysteriously.• X-rays of the painting show that originally the woman wasplaced in the bottom left where the man is now. halberd lute
Pastoral Symphony Pastoral Symphony Titian, c. 1510.• Tiziano Vecelli, called Titian in English, was a younger peer of Oil on canvas. 3’ 7” x 4’ 6”.Giorgione (both were students of Bellini).• Although this painting was originally accredited to Giorgione,most scholars now believe it is an early work by Titian.• As with the Tempest, the narrative is unclear. Two nudewomen are accompanied by two men in an Arcadian landscape,with a shepherd and villa in the background.• Titian, a supreme colorist and master with oil paint, cast amood of peaceful fun and dreaminess over the entire scene,evoking a lost but not forgotten paradise.• The shepherd symbolizes the poet; the pipes and lutesymbolize his poetry.• The two women may be thought of as their invisibleinspiration, like muses. One woman turns to lift water from thesacred well of poetic inspiration.• The full bodies of the women communicates theirpersonification of nature’s abundance, and became thestandard in Venetian art.
Assumption of the Virgin• After Bellini’s death, Titian became the official painter ofVenice, and was soon given the commission to paint amonumental altarpiece for the Franciscan basilica of SantaMaria Gloriosa dei Frari.• In this image, Mary ascends to heaven, borne aloft on a cloudheld up by cherubs. God the father waits above, while theapostles witnessing the event react below.• Titian conveys light through color, adding yellow to the areasthat are being directly illuminated by the golden heavenly light. Assumption of the Virgin Titian 1515. Oil on wood 22’ 7” x 11’ 10”. Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice.
Madonna of Madonna of the Pesaro FamilythePesaro Family • Commissioned by Bishop Jacopo Pesaro, who presented it toTitian. the Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari church.c. 1525. • Bishop Pesaro was commander of the papal fleet and had ledOil on canvas. a successful expedition in 1502 against the Turks during the15’ 11” x 8’ 10” Venetian-Turkish war, and he commissioned this painting inPesaro Chapel, gratitude.Santa MariaGloriosa dei • Mary, with St. Peter by her feet, receives Bishop PesaroFrari, Venice. (kneeling bottom left) in heaven. A soldier, possibly St. George, holds a banner bearing the Bishop and the Pope’s coats of arms. • In the bottom right, other male members of the Pesaro family kneel reverently. • Mary, like a queen in her court, honors the achievements of a specific man, intertwining the heavenly with the worldly. • Composition is unusual in that the figures are arranged on a steep diagonal. Mary is off-center, but attention is drawn to her through color, perspective lines, and direction of gazes. • The banner serves to balance out the composition.
Sleeping Venus Giorgione Venus of Urbino • The Duke of Urbino, Guidobaldo II, commissioned Titian to paint the painting now known as the Venus of Urbino. • Although its present name imbues it with a sense of classicalVenus of Urbino mythology, it may have been simply a portrait of a sensuousTitian. 1536. Oil on canvas.3’ 11” x 5’ 5” Italian woman in her bedchamber. • The composition is borrowed greatly from a painting of Venus done by Giorgione (above). • Titian creates a strong sense of foreground and background in several ways: -The curves of the woman and sheets contrasts with the sharp linear verticals of the background. -The reds in the foreground balance diagonally with the reds in the background. -The light, warm tones of the woman’s upper half are set-off by the dark, cool greens of the curtain. • Matrimonial symbolism: -Dog at the foot of the bed = fidelity -Cassoni wedding chests -Myrtle and roses were bridal flowers
Christ Crowned Christ Crowned with ThornsWith Thorns • Titian enjoyed a long and highly successful career.Titian, 1575.Oil on canvas. • Late in his career, Titian focused on Christian subjects, such as9’ x 6’ the suffering of Christ. • His style also changed. Instead of using thin, transparent layers of paint (glazing), he built up thick paste-like daubs of paint (impasto) which caught and reflected the light, creating a wavering, shimmery effect (adopted later by Rembrandt). • The drama is achieved through the muted flickering light that centers the action, making a patchy, confused mixture of light and dark. It is difficult to read the forms clearly, which adds to the mystery and mood of torment. Pieta • Titian’s intention was not so much to stage the event as to Titian present his personal response to it.
The Last Supper Last Supper Tintoretto. 1594. Oil on canvas.• Jacopo Robusti was the son of a cloth dyer, and his nickname, 12’ x 18’ 8”. San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice.Tintoretto, means “little dyer”• Tintoretto adopted some Mannerist pictorial devices, as wellas Titian’s use of color and Michelangelo’s drawing style. Inmany ways, his dramatic style foretells the coming Baroque.• The Last Supper was painted on the wall next to the high altarin Palladio’s church of San Giorgio Maggiore.• The scene is dramatically lit, mostly dark but with small glintsof light coming from an upper left light source, filtered throughswirling clouds of smoky angels, and the supernatural light ofthe haloes.• The haloes convey the religious nature of the painting.• How is this work similar to Mannerist art?• How is this work different from Leonardo’s Last Supper?
Miracle of the Slave Miracle of the Slave Tintoretto, 1548.• This painting depicts Saint Mark hurtling down from heaven to Oil on canvas. 14’ x 18’.destroy the instruments of torture being used to execute aChristian slave. The executioner holds up the broken pieces tothe startled judge, and others look on in shock.• Together, the figures of the slave, executioner, and St. Marksweep upwards in a serpentine S shape, which is counteractedby the downward motion of the plunging St. Mark.• The sense of twisting movement echoes the Manneristsculpture Abduction of the Sabine Woman• The colors are Venetian• The scene is displayed dramatically and unambiguously,typical of the upcoming Baroque period (an age of opera andtheater).
Christ in the House of Levi • Robed lords, their retainers, dogs, and dwarfs crowd around• Veronese painted on large scale canvasses, usually for Jesus.refectories of wealthy monasteries. • The Church, then at the height of Counter-Reformation, accused• This artwork was originally called Last Supper. Veronese of impiety for painting lowly creatures so close to Jesus,• Christ sits in the center of a grand loggia, surrounded by the and ordered that he change it at his own expense.well-dressed Venetian elite. In the foreground, the chief • Reluctant to do so, Veronese changed the name to an eventsteward welcomes guests with a gracious courtly gesture. with a less solemn significance. Christ in the House of Levi Paolo Veronese. 1573. Oil on canvas. 18’ 3” x 42’. Refectory of Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice, Italy.
Triumph of Venice • The Venetian Republic employed Veronese to decorate the grand chambers (in this case, the ceiling of the Hall of the Grand Council) of the Doge’s Palace in Venice. • Here, within an oval frame, he presented Venice, crowned by Fame, enthroned between two great twisted columns in a balustraded loggia, garlanded with clouds, and attended by figures symbolic of its glories. • Unlike Mantegna’s Camera Picta ceiling, this trompe l’oeil does not look straight up. Instead, the illusion is angled at a 45 degree angle to the viewer.Triumph ofVenicePaolo Veronesec. 1585.Oil on canvas.29’ 8” x 19”.Doge’s Palace,Venice.