BELLINI, GIORGIONE, TITIAN
and the Renaissance of the Venetian Painting
In the years between 1500 and 1530 artists living in Venice revolutionized traditional painting and established the city’s international renown for the coming centuries. In conjunction with new subjects and typically Venetian interpretations of traditional themes came the development of a new painting technique that enabled artists both to capture atmospheric phenomena created by the city’s sensual reflections of light, and to depict different textures such as skin or velvet in such a way that one feels as if one were able to touch them.
Of particular importance in this context is the sensually experienced landscape that is now introduced into all pictorial genres, even devotional pictures. This led to pastoral scenes that were later to become so popular. In fact, artists frequently looked to poetry for inspiration, especially to classical and contemporary love poetry and creatively transformed it into painting. But artists also developed formulas for portraiture – both realistic male and idealized female portraits – so original and new that they influenced later painters such as Rubens, Van Dyck or Rembrandt, continued to be important until the 19th century, and even inspired the great masters of the 20th century.
Thus the exhibition is arranged neither in a chronological order nor by artist, but in five sections that focus on pictorial genres – spanning from religious subjects, to mythological scenes and allegories, to depictions of men and women either in realistic or idealized portraits.
In the exhibition famous works never shown together before are brought together - among them the Louvre’s celebrated Concert Champêtre attributed to Giorgione and/or Titian, the National Gallery’s Tramonto, and our own Three Philosophers (both by Giorgione) - and are here united with Bellini’s and Titian’s famous poesie painted for the studiolo of Duke Alfonso d’Este in Ferrara and loaned for this exhibition by the Prado and the National Gallery of Art in Washington respectively.
Apart from some unique examples of religious art it is the magnificent selection of realistic and idealised portraits – masterpieces by Giorgione, Titian, and Sebastiano del Piombo, among them Titian’s Schiavona from the National Gallery, or his The Man with the Glove from the Louvre – that ensures the success of this exhibition.
An exhibition organised by the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the National Gallery of Art, Washington with the support of Bracco, an international leader in diagnostic imaging.