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Painting: an erratic eruption around Giorgione's "The Storm"

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"The Tempest" (1506), by Giorgione. Whiteimages / Leemage

It is a very small painting, 83 x 73 cm, but a monument of the history of the art so much it made ink, since almost half a millennium. It's called The Tempest (or Lâ € ™ Clear), but the first to mention it in a note of 1530, Marcantonio Michiel, does not give him a title, being content with a simple description: "The landscape with thunderstorm, gypsy and soldier (Â € |) from the hand of Zorzi de Castelfranco ". Otherwise named Giorgione.

In his life, we know little, if not what Giorgio Vasari wrote in Lives of the best painters, sculptors and architects published in 1550. It was born in 1478 and died in 1510. The first mention of one of its works dates from 1506. Their number even remains uncertain: in the XVIIe century, the painter and historian Carlo Ridolfi attributed to him about sixty; in the first half of XXe century, Louis Hourticq, an art historian, decreed only five or six, but everyone there finds him stingy, and even abusively cranky when he qualifies The Tempest of "Little thing". It is true that Hourticq was a specialist of Titian, who was often opposed to his elder and friend Giorgione. Jaynie Anderson, author of her last reasoned catalog established in 1996, admits twenty-four.

"One of the most singular and fascinating mysteries in the history of painting is the phenomenon Giorgione": And so André Chastel started in 1972 his inaugural lecture at the College de France (it was published with others in Giorgione the elusive to the Liana Levi editions in 2008). And add : "It seems to me almost impossible to draw a satisfactory portrait of Giorgione; It is almost impossible to reconstruct clearly and precisely his artistic career; It is almost impossible to arrive safely at an acceptable body of work; It is almost impossible to finally give an account of the art of Giorgione ". Let's try it all the same.

Ideas for ideology

It's worth it all the more so if, no doubt, there's nothing new on the board, if we're going to learn anything about it, maybe we'll find out a few fun things about the ideological prejudices with which the history of art was constituted. And let's start with the source, Giorgio Vasari: many of the artists whose biography he wrote, he only knew them by hearsay. From Giorgione, who died a year before his own birth, he says: "He never ceased to find pleasure in the things of love. He liked to play the lute and did it wonderfully. AT"

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