The tempest (c. 1508) by Giorgione

The tempest - Giorgione - c.1506 - c.1508

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Artwork Information

TitleThe tempest
Datec.1506 - c.1508
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions82 x 73 cm
Art MovementHigh Renaissance
Current LocationGalleria dell'Accademia, Venice, Italy

About The tempest

“The Tempest,” an enigmatic masterpiece by Giorgione, dates back to circa 1506 – 1508 and exemplifies the High Renaissance art movement. This genre painting, created using oil on canvas, measures 82 by 73 centimeters. Currently housed at the Galleria dell’Accademia in Venice, Italy, the artwork captivates with its atmospheric and emotive qualities, characteristic of Giorgione’s innovative style.

In the artwork, viewers are presented with a pastoral scene shrouded in mystery. On the left, a young man stands in a contrapposto stance, dressed in a colorful outfit reminiscent of 16th-century fashion. He holds a staff, gazing pensively into the distance. To the right, a woman sits upon the ground, feeding a baby, her gaze seemingly directed towards the viewer. Her nudity contrasts sharply with the clothed figure of the man, adding to the intriguing narrative tension within the scene.

The background reveals a stormy sky where dark clouds culminate and a flash of lightning cracks the otherwise tranquil setting. A bridge and river separate the figures from a fortified town, hinting at architectural elements of the Venetian landscape. The lush vegetation that surrounds the figures and the soft lighting filtering through the clouds contribute to the idyllic yet dramatic ambiance. The symbolism and meaning behind this tableau remain subjects of scholarly debate, lending the artwork a timeless aura of intrigue and profound contemplation.

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