The High Renaissance in Venice.
In addition to the astonishing works of Leonardo,
Michelangelo, and Raphael, the Venetian School of painters also made
substantial contributions to the High Renaissance. Artists such as Titian,
Bellini, and Giorgione created artworks characterized by a unique approach to
colour and atmosphere. Oil paint was now the medium of choice, the artists of
Venice fully embraced the flexibility offered by creating artwork with oils.
By 1500 Venice was the centre
of the seaborne trade that fuelled the cultural developments of North East
Italy. The city was one of the wealthiest in the world, the equal of its
southern neighbour Florence, it was a political as well as a commercial
centre. The High Renaissance in Venice began with Giorgione and produced a string of important and gifted artists. Both
Giorgione and Titian had studied in the workshop of the Bellini family. Unfortunately, Giorgione’s life was short (c.1478-1510) by
contrast Titian lived to be nearly 100.
Titian produced a huge volume of work which included
completing some parts of Giorgione’s paintings making attributions between
the two artists work difficult. Titian’s altarpieces in the Venetian church of
the Frari are a must-see for any visitor to the city. His
fame was almost the equal of Michelangelo and he is the superstar of Venetian painting.
Two younger painters, Jacopo
Tintoretto and Paolo Veronese, although
their styles differed, created some monumental paintings. Many of Tintoretto’s
paintings contain sharp contrasts between light and shadow and his work is
often quite sketchy. His decoration of the Scuola di San Rocco crackles with
dynamism and power.
Veronese’s Feast in the House of Levi, along with his Marriage
Feast at Cana are among the greatest works of the late Venetian Renaissance
The Renaissance in Italy
laid the foundation for the development of western art. It was a period
of incredible creativity and intellectual exploration, home to renowned artists
whose works continue to inspire us. The many
iconic works in both painting and sculpture influenced successive generations
of artists, an influence that continues to the present day. The early
Renaissance years had belonged to the city of Florence. However, the High
Renaissance in Italy is centred on the two cities of Rome and Venice.
Eventually, the Renaissance style was adopted by later painters and evolved
into the style known as Mannerism. The High Renaissance is a treasure
trove for anyone intrigued by the arts. Its impact, undeniably, continues to
influence the world of art even today. Understanding the era's artistic
achievements, historical significance, and how it shaped the world's perception
of beauty and the portrayal of human emotion, makes the study of the High
Renaissance both educational and enjoyable.