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in Zara (now Zadar) on the Dalmatian Coast in 1510, Schiavone is
recognised as a key proponent in the introduction of Mannerism to
Venice, and with being of considerable influence to the likes of
Tintoretto (1560-1635), Jacopo Bassano, and El Greco (1541-1614). An innovative etcher and painter of both oils
and frescoes, it is thought that Schiavone was a pupil of either
Lorenzo Luzzo or Giovanni Pietro Luzzo.
He spent most of his working life in the city of Venice, where he
had settled by the late 1530s, though his first surviving paintings and
etchings date from c.1538 to 1540. His early work was strongly
influenced by Parmigianino (1503-1540) and the Central Italian
Mannerists, whilst combining Venetian painterly techniques and colore.
His work of the 1540s was marked by the creation of works of a more
complex nature, and on a larger scale, whilst consistently containing
his own Venetian twist on the Mannerist style. A large battle painting
commissioned by Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574) from 1540, its current
whereabouts un-traced, led the art commentator to observe that it was
‘one of the best [works] that Andrea Schiavone ever did’.
Towards the 1550s, the influence of Raphael (1483-1520) and Titian
(c.1480/85-1576) on Schiavone became greater, noted in works such as The Marriage of Cupid and Psyche.
The languid gesturing of the figures firmly traces its roots to
Parmigianino, whilst also recalling the central female figures of the
present work. In his Lives of the Artists, Vasari said of
Schiavone: ‘In like manner... is another good painter of that same city,
Andrea Schiavone namely. I call him good, because he has certainly
produced many a good work, sometimes unhappily when in much want and
distress. Schiavone has always imitated the manner of good masters the
best of his power’.
greater exploration of tonality and chiaroscuro in the mid 1550s saw
the creation of several powerful works. The development of Schiavone’s
monumental style during this period was marked by an enhanced palette
and a more complex play of colour harmonies and tones, evident in such
works as his nocturnal Sacra Conversazione (British Government Art Collection) and Pietà
(Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Dresden) and culminated in his three
tondi painted for the ceiling of the Sala of Jacopo Sansovino’s Libreria
Marciana in Venice.
Receiving substantial recognition in his final years, the paintings
from the latter part his career are acclaimed with being precursors to
those of Titian’s late period, and for being innovative in their
large-scale ‘impressionistic’ approach. Schiavone’s choice of subject
matter demonstrated increased diversity, and ranged from the
mythological, to religious paintings, several of which displayed an
incredible, heightened intensity of emotion. Works from this period
include Ecce Homo (Museo Civile, Padua), two paintings of Christ before Pilate (Royal Collection, Hampton Court; Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna) and the superb Christ before Herod (Capodimonte Museum, Naples).
Sphinx Fine Art,
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