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One of the most remarkable painters of history was Giorgio da Castelfranco, called Giorgione. He was called Big George by his contemporaries. He was born about 1477 or 1478 in a picturesque old city of humble origin, the son of a peasant.
As a boy Giorgione came to Venice and studied painting in the studio of Giovanni Bellini. He was noted for his personal beauty and his musical tastes and was a welcome guest in distinguished circles
Only a handful of pictures can certainly be identified as his work, although many are attributed to him. In any case, his influence on the development of Venetian painting in the beginning of the 16th century seems to have been tremendous. The work of the most distinguished Venetian painters of his day, including that of Titian, Palma and Lotto, show evidence of this influence.
Many details about Giorgione’s life are in doubt. His birth date is unknown; no copy of his autograph is known to exist and none of his paintings were signed. Leading art critics can get together on only eight paintings as definitely Giorgione’s. A new style of painting, dedicated to exploring the effects of light in Venice, grew up in that city of canals. It is first seen in the work of Giorgione, but he died at the age of only thirty-two in 1510, and Titian, who was a co-worker, developed his methods to the full. Many paintings have been taken to be the work of both men.
Written and compiled by Jean Ershler Schatz, artist and researcher from Laguna Woods, California.
Metropolitan Museum of Art Miniatures; Paintings from the Hapsburg Collection
The Standard Treasury of the World's Great Paintings
Time Magazine, September 12, 1955