Friday, June 11, 2010


Self Portrait
From Wikipedia

Paolo Veronese (1528 – April 19, 1588) was an Italian painter of the Renaissance in Venice, famous for paintings such as The Wedding at Cana and The Feast in the House of Levi. He adopted the name Paolo Cagliari or Paolo Caliari, and became known as "Veronese" from his birthplace in Verona.
Veronese, Titian, and Tintoretto constitute the triumvirate of pre-eminent Venetian painters of the late Renaissance (1500s). Veronese is known as a supreme colorist, and for his illusionistic decorations in both fresco and oil. His most famous works are elaborate narrative cycles, executed in a dramatic and colorful Mannerist style, full of majestic architectural settings and glittering pageantry. His large paintings of biblical feasts executed for the refectories of monasteries in Venice and Verona are especially notable. His brief testimony with the Inquisition is often quoted for its insight into contemporary painting technique.
Veronese learned painting in Verona from Antonio Badile, a capable exponent of the conservative local tradition. That tradition remained fundamental to Veronese's style throughout his career, even after he moved to Venice in 1553.
The painters of Verona between about 1510 and 1540 favoured firm, regular volumes, strong colours that function largely in terms of contrasts, and conventionalised figures. Veronese combined these elements of the local High Renaissance style with Mannerist elements, including complex compositional schemes that often employ a “worm's-eye view” perspective and Michelangelesque figures in powerful foreshortened or contorted poses.....
(Web Gallery of Art)

Raising of the Daughter of Jairus
Oil on paper mounted on canvas, c. 1546
Musée du Louvre, Paris
From Web Gallery of Art

Isabella Guerrieri Gonzaga Canossa
Oil on canvas, 1547-48
Musée du Louvre, Paris
From Web Gallery of Art

Iseppo and Adriano da Porto
Pen and chalk on tinted paper, c. 1551
Musée du Louvre, Paris
From Web Gallery of Art

Count Giuseppe da Porto & Son Adriano
Oil on canvas, 1551-52
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
From Web Gallery of Art

Livia da Porto Thiene and her Daughter Porzia
Oil on canvas, 1551-52
Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore
From Web Gallery of Art

Portrait of a Young Man Wearing Lynx Fur
Oil on canvas, 1551-53
Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest
From Web Gallery of Art

Gentleman in a Lynx Fur
Oil on canvas
Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence
From Web Gallery of Art

Gentleman in Black
Oil on canvas, 1560s
Private collection
From Web Gallery of Art

Feast in the House of Simon
Oil on canvas, 1560s
Galleria Sabauda, Turin
From Web Gallery of Art

Feast in the House of Simon (details)

Daniele Barbaro
Oil on canvas, 1561-65
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
From Web Gallery of Art

Portrait of Alessandro Vittoria
Oil on canvas, c. 1575
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
From Web Gallery of Art

Portrait of Johann Jakob König
Oil on canvas, 1575-80
National Museum, Prague

The portrait was an artistic genre that Veronese had cultivated ever since the beginning of his career. He painted portraits (above) while in Verona, then his contact with the Venetian world refined his portrait-painting skill. His portraits from the early 1560s are numerous and constitute one of the high points of sixteenth-century Venetian portraiture.Veronese remained a sober observer for large stretches of his career as a portrait painter.
(Paolo VERONESE, Portrait at Web Gallery of Art)

Jupiter Hurling Thunderbolts at the Vices

Aged Oriental with a Young Woman

The Triumph of Virtue over Vice

View of the Sala del Consiglio dei Dieci
Oil on canvas, c. 1551
Palazzo Ducale, Venice
(All images from Web Gallery of Art)

Veronese made his artistic debut in the Palazzo Ducale as assistant of the painter Giovan Battista Ponchino in 1554-55 when, at the age of twenty-six, in the Sala del Consiglio dei Dieci he painted canvases for the gilded wood ceiling (above) which was constructed in the previous years. Veronese's main paintings on the ceiling are the Jupiter Hurling Thunderbolts at the Vices (oval, now in the Louvre, replaced here by a nineteenth-century copy), Aged Oriental with a Young Woman (oval), Juno Showering Gifts on Venetia (rectangular), and The Triumph of Virtue over Vice (rectangular).
(Paolo VERONES, Frescoes in the Villa Barbaro, Maser (1560-61) at Web Gallery of Art)

Illusory Door

Girl in the Doorway

Muse with Tambourine
Villa Barbaro, Maser
All images from Web Gallery of Art

View into the Cruciform Sala a Crociera

View of the Sala a Crociera

Figures behind the Parapet

Bacchus, Vertumnus and Saturn

Bacchus, Vertumnus and Saturn (detail)

Mortal Man Guided to Divine Eternity

The Holy Family (Madonna della pappa)

End wall of the Stanza del Cane

Nobleman in Hunting Attire

Ceiling of the Sala dell'Olimpo
Fresco 1560-61
Villa Barbaro, Maser
All images from Web Gallery of Art

The first phase of Veronese's artistic maturity, about 1555-65, is well represented by his many canvases ….. Their high-keyed interweavings of brilliant, luminous hues are harmonies of contrast in the tradition of Verona rather than Venetian harmonies of tone. The striking compositions often involve multileveled settings and dramatically steep perspectives, especially effective in the ceiling paintings. From this period comes Veronese's fresco decoration (circa 1561) of the Villa Barbaro at Maser (above), the one such cycle by him to survive. Here he extended the actual architecture of the villa (1555-59) built by Andrea Palladio with painted illusory architecture and populated these illusions with both mythological personages and fictional equivalents of the villa's real inhabitants.
(Web Gallery of Art)
He was commissioned by Daniele Barbaro to provide the interior frescoes for Barbaro's Palladian villa in Maser. The construction of the villa to a design by Andrea Palladio was completed around 1558. The decoration reflects the taste of Daniele Barbaro, a cultured humanist, and his brother Marcantonio.
Veronese decorated six rooms in the 'piano nobile' (the main floor) of the villa, as well as one wall of the last room of the eastern suite of rooms. The piano nobile is laid out in the shape of a double "T", the decorated rooms are: the Sala dell'Olimpo, the Sala a Crociera, the Stanza dell'Amore Coniugale, the Stanza di Bacco, the Stanza del Cane, the Stanza della Lucerna. The spacious Sala a Crociera (Cross-Shaped Room) connects the front and the two rooms to the south (the Stanza dell'Amore Coniugale and the Stanza di Bacco) with the large square room (the Sala dell'Olimpo) that opens onto the internal garden to the north. At the sides of the Sala dell'Olimpo are located the rooms facing onto the courtyard (the Stanza del Cane and the Stanza della Lucerna).
The frescoed scenes in the six rooms are supported and framed respectively by a system of decoration that, along with the white stuccoed molding of the door frames and fireplace, is not insignificant in determining the overall impression of the space. Floor to ceiling marble columns or pilasters subdivide the walls in all the rooms. In between, beyond low parapets, one catches sight of far-off landscapes seen from high vantage points that compete with the views from the villa's windows.
(Paolo VERONES, Frescoes in the Villa Barbaro, Maser (1560-61) at Web Gallery of Art)
The magnificent decorative style, developed in the Villa Barbaro at Maser, was taken even further in the 1560s, in a series of large paintings on the common theme of suppers at which Christ was present. Veronese used the stories from the Gospels as an excuse to stage sumptuous feasts in sixteenth-century dress inside grandiose and theatrical architectural perspectives, producing realistic representations of social life at the highest level, dominated by the magnificence of the surroundings and the refined elegance of the clothing worn by the guest. The Supper in Emmaus (Louvre, Paris), the Feast in the House of Simon, painted for the dining room of the Benedictines in San Nazaro e Celso in Verona, (now in the Galleria Sabauda, Turin), and the Marriage at Cana, executed for the refectory of the convent of San Giorgio Maggiore at Venice (now in the Louvre, Paris) belong to the series.
In the 1570s Veronese returned to the theme of the feasts, painting the Feast at the House of Simon for the monastery of St Sebastian (now in the Pinacoteca di Brera), the same subject for the refectory of the Servites (which the Venetian Republic donated to King Louis XIV of France in 1664 and now is at Versailles), the Feast in the House of Gregory the Great for the sanctuary of Monte Berico at Vicenza (1572), and finally the Feast in the House of Levi for the refectory of the Santi Giovanni e Paolo in Venice (now in the Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice).
In each case it was the local context that determined the huge format and particular form of the pictures. All of them were once attached to the walls at the end of the monastery refectories where, supported by the use of symmetrical pictorial architectures, they created a loose painted extension of the real space.
(Paolo VERONES, Paintings of feasts (banquets) (1560-1573) at Web Gallery of Art)
The work of Veronese's full maturity, from about 1565 to 1580, is marked by quieter, more classical compositions, an even greater ceremoniousness of tone, and still more dazzling light and colour harmonies. This resplendent style is occasionally modulated into a lowered tonality, as when the artist dealt with subjects such as The Crucifixion (c. 1582, Louvre). Such paintings, in which a new emotional commitment to the subject appears, multiplied toward the end of his career. By about 1583, luminous twilight replaced noonday splendour as the norm, and festivity was replaced by seriousness. The moonlit Pietà; (c. 1581, Hermitage, St. Petersburg) is an extreme example.....
(Web Gallery of Art)

The Marriage at Cana
Oil on canvas, c1563
Musee du Louvre (Paris, France)
From Web Gallery of Art

The Marriage at Cana (details)
All images from Web Gallery of Art

This immense canvas (above) was executed for the refectory of the convent of San Giorgio Maggiore at Venice. It was removed in 1799 and taken to the Louvre. The picture portrays a sumptuous imaginary palace with about a hundred and thirty guests, portraits of celebrities of the period, of Veronese himself and of his friends dressed in richly coloured costumes.
(Web Gallery of Art)

The Feast in the House of Levi
Oil on canvas, 1573
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice
From Web Gallery of Art

Feast in the House of Levi (details)
All images from Web Gallery of Art

In 1573 Veronese completed the painting which is now known as the Feast in the House of Levi (above) for the rear wall of the refectory of the Basilica di Santi Giovanni e Paolo. The painting was originally intended as a depiction of the Last Supper, designed to replace a canvas by Titian that had been lost in a fire. It measured more than five metres high and over twelve metres wide, depicted another Venetian celebration and was a culmination of his banquet scenes, which this time included not only the Last Supper, but also German soldiers, comic dwarves, and a variety of animals; in short, the exotica which were standard to his narratives. Even as Veronese's use of color attained greater intensity and luminosity, his attention to narrative, human sentiment, and a more subtle and meaningful physical interplay between his figures became evident.
That the subject was indeed a Last Supper, and then some, was not lost on the Inquisition. A decade earlier the monks who commissioned the Wedding at Cana had requested that the artist squeeze the maximum number of figures into the painting, but the Counter-Reformation had since exerted its influence in Venice, and in July of 1573 Veronese was summoned to explain the inclusion of extraneous and indecorous details in the painting.
The tone of the hearing itself was cautionary rather than punitive; Veronese explained that "we painters take the same liberties as poets and madmen", and rather than repaint the picture, he simply and pragmatically retitled it to the less sacramental version by which it is known today.

View of the Sala del Collegio

Ceiling paintings
Oil on canvas, 1578-82
Palazzo Ducale, Venice
From Web Gallery of Art

The Sala del Collegio or the Hall of the College (above) was the room where foreign delegations or important, famous personages were received and granted an audience by the College, a magistracy composed of the doge and six councilors. The renovated gilded ceiling frames a series of works by Veronese between 1578 and 1582. Veronese also painted the immense canvas above the throne on the end wall of the hall. In the antechamber (Sala di Anticollegio) hangs Veronese's Rape of Europa, among Tintoretto's canvases.
The present decoration of the Sala del Maggior Consiglio or Hall of the Great Council in the Palazzo Ducale was realized after the disastrous fire of 1577 during which all the structures of the ship's-keel Gothic ceiling and the wall-paintings were destroyed. An immense flat ceiling, in accordance with the taste of the end of the century, was constructed with gilded cornices sculpted in high-relief, which framed a series of paintings. The canvases were dedicated, thematically, to the Glorification of Venice, in remembrance of the numerous military undertakings in the East or on the mainland by the Venetian ground troops.
On the ceiling great importance was given to the victories of the Venetian army in conquering the mainland; along the wall to the dispute between Alexander III and Frederick Barbarossa, who reached an agreement in Venice with the political mediation of Doge Sebastiano Ziani; and to the events of the Fourth Crusade, led by Doge Enrico Dandolo in the early years of the 13th century.
(Paolo VERONES, Frescoes in the Villa Barbaro, Maser (1560-61) at Web Gallery of Art)

Apotheosis of Venice
Oil on canvas, 1585
Palazzo Ducale, Venice
From Web Gallery of Art

Apotheosis of Venice (above) was commissioned by the Venetian government for the ceiling of the Sala del Maggior Consiglio of the Palazzo Ducale. It is one of the thirty five panels on the ceiling. Rising above the bank of clouds, the royally garbed personification of Venice sits enthroned between the twin towers of the city's Arsenal, about to be crowned with laurel by flying victories. Arrayed at her feet and offering her wise counsel are personifications of peace, abundance, fame, happiness, honour, security, and freedom. An especially splendid triumphal arch, fronted by twisting columns, marks the top of an enormous balcony which seems to burst through the ceiling into the ether beyond in order to accommodate the multitudes of celebrating people stipulated in the commission. At the base, Venice's smiling subjects seem undisturbed by the enormous size and energy of careening horsemen in their midst reminder of Venice's considerable military might. Illusionistic foreshortenings and dramatic light effects serve to give political allegory a previously unimagined dynamism and visual excitement.
Veronese died in Venice on April 9, 1588. Although highly successful, he had little immediate influence. To the Flemish baroque master Peter Paul Rubens and to the 18th-century Venetian painters, especially Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, however, Veronese's handling of colour and perspective supplied an indispensable point of departure.
(Web Gallery of Art)

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