Giorgione (Giorgio da Castelfranco) Portrait of An Archer About 1506 - 1510


Nationality Italian

Giorgione was the most brilliantly inventive and original amongst a remarkable generation of Venetian painters that included the young Titian, Sebastiano del Piombo, Palma Vecchio and Lorenzo Lotto. Only a dozen or so surviving paintings can be securely attributed to his hand and these show an extraordinary range of subject matter and treatment. Among them are several with novel and enigmatic themes, notably the famous Tempest (Venice, Galleria dell’Accademia) and the Three Philosophers (Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum). The monumentally composed altarpiece of the Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints Liberale (or Nicasio) and Francis, painted for the cathedral in his native town, is probably amongst Giorgione’s early works, about 1500, and shows his awareness of the recent work of Giovanni Bellini. An inscription with the date 1506 on the back of the Portrait of a Young Woman (Laura) (Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum), offers a rare fixed point in his chronology. His very visible frescoes on the façade of the Fondaco dei Tedeschi at the Rialto in Venice – a project on which he collaborated with the young Titian – were amongst his most celebrated works, but only a few badly weathered fragments survive. Giorgione died tragically young in the terrible plague that ravaged Venice in 1510.