Documented in the collection of Gabriele Vendramin by Marcantonio Michiel in 1530 and then in the five and seventeenth-century family inventories, the Tempest follows Giorgione's other masterpiece, La Vecchia, in the collections of the merchant Cristoforo Orsetti and then reappears in the Manfrin collection, from where it was purchased. by the Italian State in 1856 and destined for the Gallerie dell'Accademia.
The mysterious iconography, centered on two characters whose relationship is not immediately understood - a young soldier and a naked mother nursing her child - has stimulated the most varied interpretations, also in relation to the meaning of the landscape and the sky torn by the lightning that gives the painting its title. Lately (Falciani) it has been proposed to read the iconography of the painting in relation to a commendable poem by the Vendramin family that would identify the soldier with a staff as Silvio, second son of Aeneas, while in the background his mother Lavinia when she was born in the forest. (hence the name). The dates proposed are also quite varied, ranging from 1503 to 1509. However, it is more plausible to think of the Tempest commissioned by Gabriele Vendramin around 1504, a decisive year for his personal journey, and therefore chronologically more distant from the "monumental" painting of Giorgione dei his later years.
Coming from the Vendramin collection, where it was found until at least 1601 in the company of other autographs by Giorgione such as the Tempesta, the work was subsequently purchased by the merchant Cristoforo Orsetti, who remembers it in his will of 1664 and then passed by inheritance to the collection of the son of these, John the Baptist. Only later, on an unspecified date, did it pass into the Manfrin collections from where, in 1856, it was purchased by the Italian state along with other important paintings.
A cornerstone of Giorgione's limited catalog, the work still surprises today for the absolute peculiarity of its subject, an elderly lady depicted with extreme realism, her face marked by time with deep wrinkles and imperfect or missing teeth. From the Vendramin inventory of 1601, it is inferred that La Vecchia was preserved with a "blanket" (or that served for this purpose), depicting a male effigy, whose combined reading could help to understand its hidden meaning, perhaps even more complex. of a simple meditation on the theme of vanitas. Compared to the contemporary Venetian artistic scenario, Giorgione's revolutionary choice to devote himself to a similar theme with such a direct approach appears undoubted, certainly inspired on the one hand by Leonardo's studies (note the similarity between the Old Woman and the apostle Philip inside del Cenacolo di Santa Maria delle Grazie), on the other hand to some Nordic prototypes - think for example of the Portrait of a Young Man by Dürer of Vienna which had on the back a figure of an elderly woman with a lot of coins. It is plausible that the subject had a clear meaning for the commissioner of the work, probably Gabriele Vendramin himself, also considering the presence of the family crest on the ancient frame, a meaning to which the cartouche with the words "with time", likely incipit, could allude a quote or a message.
The panel is registered among the assets of the Scuola Grande della Carità at the time of their inclusion in the catalog of the Gallerie dell'Accademia (1812). The previous collecting events are not known, even if it is legitimate to hypothesize that it was donated to the School by a brother. The description of the landscape, of minute and descriptive characterization almost "Flemish", contrasts with the already naturalistic study of light and vaporous clouds in the sky and below the cherubic angels. The latter, with empty orbits and painted in a bright red color, with evident anti-naturalistic and archaistic accentuation, directly quote the prototype of Jacopo Bellini, also in the Galleries (cat. 582), and the interpretation that in turn had provided the brother-in-law Andrea Mantegna a few years earlier around 1485 (Madonna with Child and choir of cherubs, Milan, Pinacoteca di Brera). Chronologically, the painting is therefore placed immediately afterwards, between 1485-1490, also in close relationship with its closest outcome which is the Madonna di Alzano of the Carrara Academy, in a phase of Bellini's great experimentation but not yet reached that point. revolutionary results at the end of the century, characterized by that unprecedented harmonization between plane and space destined to mark the subsequent developments of Venetian painting.
The painting falls within the typology of “sacred conversations” in horizontal format with the Madonna and saints in the foreground and a landscape in the background: one of the most popular and popular subjects in the sixteenth century in Veneto, favored above all by private clients.
The figures, in the absence of an architectural structure that frames them, acquire great naturalness. Following the death of Palma, the painting was completed by Titian, as confirmed by studies carried out on the occasion of the recent restoration. He would have made the head and mantle of Saint Catherine, and the landscape in the background. Reflectographic and radiographic analyzes also reveal some variations made by Palma in a first draft of the composition: two male figures under the San Giovanni, perhaps two donors, and the child's face turned towards them. In place of the hilly landscape, an architectural wing was planned.
Recognized as the work of Lorenzo Lotto in 1923 by Lucio Coletti, who saw it in the representative living room of the Treviso Counts Rovero palace, it was bought by the State in 1930 by Edoardo Rovero, the last descendant of the ancient Treviso family. Famous example of Lotto's portraiture in the years of his stay in Venice (1525-1533), generally dated to the extreme end of the 1920s, close to the 1527 Andrea Odoni of Hampton Court and the Portrait of a Gentlewoman in the guise of Lucrezia della National Gallery in London. It shares with the latter the horizontal format, decidedly unusual in the portraiture of the time, the ease in the supple pose and the naturalness with which it represents the protagonist, with the three-quarter cut of the figure, and the analytical taste in restoring the sartorial aspect of the clothes and material qualities of objects. These aspects that differentiate Lotto's portraiture from that of Titian, as well as the cold chromatism and the use of grazing light.
The young man, dressed in an elegant dark worked suit, is represented standing while he is leaning against a large table placed at an angle, in the act of leafing through a large book with a melancholy air. The volume could be a family book where the salient events were noted or, more likely, a book of accounts where income and debts, credit and debit are recorded in two columns. In both interpretations, however, it is a representative object of adult life and the concrete commitment of the young person portrayed in the management of family affairs. Consequently, the book appears as an antithesis to the idleness and pleasures of youth, symbolized at the bottom by the lute and the hunting horn. The elements in the foreground are still of clear symbolic value: the rose petals, the ring, the letters and the feminine shawl, all alluding to a love that is perhaps ended or hindered. Even the lizard, or green lizard, a symbol of death and rebirth in antiquity, can refer to the control of passions as a cold-blooded animal.
The large canvas was made for the Chapter Hall of the Scuola Grande di San Marco by April 1548, when it is mentioned in a letter of praise sent to the painter by Pietro Aretino, a famous scholar of the time. Seized by French troops in 1797, the canvas returned to Venice in 1815 and was destined for the Gallerie dell'Accademia due to the suppression of the schools of devotion ordered by Napoleon.
The work represents one of the posthumous miracles of Saint Mark accredited by hagiographic sources, that is, Saint Mark frees the slave from the torture of torture. This is the torture inflicted by a lord of Provence, represented on the right seated on another throne, on a servant, immobilized on the ground, guilty of disobeying his master and having gone on a pilgrimage to Venice to visit the body of the Evangelist, vowing to entrust his members to the protection of these. The miraculous apparition of the saint, invoked by the slave, causes the breaking of the instruments of martyrdom, leaving the lord, the executioners and the crowd of bystanders astonished. The Miracle sanctions Tintoretto's public affirmation in the Venetian context and represents the moment in which the various experiences of his youth come to full maturity, giving life to a provocatively innovative language. The theatrical character, in the monumental scenographic layout and in the skilful direction of the masses, betrays the painter's familiarity with the environments of the Venetian theater, opening a new season for the tradition of narrative canvases commissioned by the Schools.
The canvas was made by Paolo Veronese for the refectory of the Dominican convent of Santi Giovanni e Paolo to replace a canvas with a similar subject by Titian burned in a fire. The latest in a series of lucky "Dinners", painted by the painter starting from the fifties of the sixteenth century, the work highlights the extraordinary artistic achievements of Veronese, here able to wisely combine elements of theatrical rhetoric with lively moments of sparkling conviviality in a monumental architectural frame. The work is also famous for having been at the center of a famous episode of artistic "censorship" by the Holy Office which accused the painter of heresy for having treated the theme of the Last Supper without proper decorum, transforming it into a banquet and enriching it with unusual presences. In particular, the inquisitors questioned the painter about the choice of including figures such as the servant who loses a nosebleed, the dwarf fool with the parrot and even some "German-armed" halberdiers. In his defense Veronese reaffirmed, with ostentatious naivety, the painter's right to use the imagination and to place figures of "ornament", taking the same license that is granted to poets and "madmen", being however careful to place all the figures more imaginative outside the space occupied by Christ. However, obliged to amend the "errors" contained in the painting, in fact already completed, in three months, the painter opted more simply to modify the subject, transforming what should have been a Last Supper, into a banquet at Levi's house, or rather in a banquet scene, making the reference to the fifth chapter of Luke's Gospel explicit in the foreground.
In 1868 Hayez emblematically sealed his glorious experience as a history painter by donating to the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice, where he had received his artistic training more than half a century earlier, the imposing canvas depicting the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem "as a testimony of my grateful memory of the first studies done in this Academy […] happy to give one of the last works where my first ones exist ”. Together with the painting entitled The last moments of Doge Marin Faliero, destined for the Brera Academy, where the Venetian artist had taught for a good part of his life, it must be considered as a spiritual testament. a large corpus of preparatory drawings is known, it had a long gestation: the painter began the execution in 1860 and finished the work in 1867, when the painting was exhibited in Brera and was enthusiastically received by critics. The composition, dominated by an impressive visual impetus, shows the destruction of the temple at the dramatic moment in which the massacre is at its peak: the building is already in flames and the massacre is at its peak. The scene represented narrates the sufferings of the Jewish people deprived of their freedom and, as had already happened with Verdi's Nabucco, becomes a metaphor for the oppression suffered by Italians and a banner of Risorgimento values.In December 2017 the museum acquired an important nucleus of seventeen drawings relating to The destruction of the temple of Jerusalem (as well as a sheet referable to The thirst suffered by the Crusaders under Jerusalem), which are added to the six already present in the collections of the Galleries.
Received to the Galleries as a gift from Girolamo Contarini in 1838, the table takes its name from the two poplars soaring symmetrically on either side of the green curtain that forms the background to the group of the Madonna and Child. The presence of the date 1487 together with the signature on the parapet in fake green marble is of extreme interest as it is the second - after 1474 of the Fugger Portrait of Pasadena, which is no longer visible - present on a work by the master. The table is therefore an essential chronological reference in the chronological scan of the master's corpus, as well as one of the qualitative peaks he reached in the declination of the theme. Of great modernity and very successful naturalistic effect is the call of the shadow cast by the Virgin on the curtain stretched behind her which helps to give the sense of a warm light, of the setting sun, which can also be glimpsed in the diffused light among the leaves of the trees. and in the line of the horizon that marks the slow growth of the hills towards the snow-capped peaks at the bottom. The cartoon of the group with the Virgin and Child is taken up by Bellini in the Madonna and Child with Saints Paul and George, also preserved in the Accademia Galleries. A workshop replica of the work is known, which has passed through various private collections.
Of this portrait of Doge Francesco Erizzo (reg. 1631-1646) there is another version, of slightly higher quality, preserved at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. The canvas of the Galleries, also certainly autographed, could have been made for the doge's family, from whose Villa Erizzo, near Bassano del Grappa, it comes, according to the indications of Sandra Moschini Marconi (1970). Arriving in the lagoon in 1633, at the height of his fame, the Genoese Bernardo Strozzi quickly won prestigious commissions and distinguished himself above all in the portrait genre, taking over from Tiberio Tinelli, who died in 1638. The Genoese painter manages to give the effigy a tone of intimate realism while not giving up the austerity of an official portrait, playing on the expression of the face and on the simple but effective gesture of the right hand carried on the belt. The rich mise en scène of the doge includes the display of the precious clothes symbolizing his power: the doge's horn, the ocher-gold mantle and the white fur cape.
Orsola is visited in a dream by an angel who announces the future martyrdom symbolically represented by the palm tree. A refined play of lights, the supernatural one of the angel and the natural one of dawn that filters through the windows and doors, reveals a series of objects with a symbolic meaning: the crown placed at the foot of the bed, the prayer books, the hourglass, the statues of modest Venus and Hercules above the two doors, alluding to the virtues of the royal couple.
Beyond the many iconographic interpretations proposed (the title under which the work has been known since the end of the nineteenth century, that is from the Brera Guide of 1891, is misleading), it is an enchanting pastoral idyll which, in consonance with contemporary Arcadian expressions of French painting, exalts the rustic and loving life. A summery light caresses the pearly complexion of this rustic goddess with a straw hat, who offers herself to the eye with dresses of cream and pink shades.
The panel was purchased by the Italian State in 1959, after being granted in deposit from 1846 to the Parish of San Giorgio delle Pertiche by an anonymous owner. The original location is unknown, although it is legitimate to hypothesize, according to what an inscription of 1711 affixed on the back would suggest, that it was a devotional tablet placed in a public building. The painting, dated around 1441, enhances the series of Madonnas painted between 1440 and 1450 by Antonio Vivarini, halfway between the Byzantine influence and the new central Italian stylistic orientations, in particular those manifested in Florence in the first half of the 15th century. century. There are numerous stylistic references with the polyptychs today in Parenzo (Museum of the Euphrasian Basilica) in Vienna (Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum), even if in this case the Virgin is not represented in the usual iconic frontality, but slightly in three quarters, while gently bending the head and holds the Child in a blessing act. The gold background, heavily retouched in an eighteenth-century restoration, gives an unreal atmosphere to the painting, which shows, in the volumetric rendering of the figures, a modern spatial research, and brings the work closer to the great innovations of the Tuscan language of Masolino and Filippo Lippi . Innovative elements can be recognized in the plastic volumes of the faces and in the position of the legs and hands, as well as in the psychological refinement of the characters, also the result of the knowledge of the contemporary works of Jacopo Bellini.
Other works on display