The year 2010 marks the fifth centenary of Giorgione’s death, which occurred in October 1510. This is one of the few certain facts relating to the painter: no signature attributable to him exists, nor have any autograph writings been found in archives. Were it not for two official documents regarding a painting of his dated 1507, formerly in the Palazzo Ducale in Venice and now lost, and the frescoes executed in 1508 for the Fondaco dei Tedeschi – all that remains of these is a fragment depicting a nude, now in the Ca’ d’Oro – Giorgione might never have existed. In 1550 Giorgio Vasari sought to write a biographical and artistic account of him, which, however, he considerably revised, and sometimes contradicted, in the second edition of his Lives, published in 1568. This monograph is intended to highlight what is known about Giorgione against the backdrop of an extraordinarily vibrant Venice, where the presence of artists like Giovanni Bellini, Lorenzo Lotto, Vittore Carpaccio and many others less well-known was contemporary with that of the most outstanding members of a dynamic and sophisticated society.
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