In the Age of Giorgione
12 March — 5 June 2016
"Rich and revelatory… a curatorial tour de force"
"A true genius who deserves to be revered as one of the giants of European art"
"You get a sense of Giorgione's mastery immediately"
London Evening Standard
"The curators have put together an exhibition that is so rich it’s worth visiting not just once, but returning to several times”
Trace the development of ideas that changed the course of art in this highly original exploration of the Venetian Renaissance. Bringing together iconic paintings by masters such as Titian and Giorgione, we shed new light on a pivotal yet little-understood moment in the history of art.
Venice, at the beginning of the 16th century: though Bellini is still the leading artist of the day, a younger generation that includes Titian and the enigmatic Giorgione is emerging. Their innovations, combined with the influence of visitors such as Albrecht Dürer and Leonardo da Vinci, are about to usher in a new dawn of Venetian art.
The first great painter to arise during this period is also the most mysterious: little is known about Giorgione’s life, and few works can be definitively attributed to him, yet the elusive poetic quality of his work is so powerful that, despite his early death, his legacy is profoundly felt in Venice and beyond.
This fascinating exhibition seeks to unravel the complex web of influences that shaped the work of many of the most celebrated names in Renaissance art. Masterpieces by Giorgione will be displayed side by side with works by Giovanni Bellini, Albrecht Dürer, Titian, Sebastiano del Piombo and Lorenzo Lotto, among others. Visitors will also have the opportunity to rediscover Giovanni Cariani, a great but now unfamiliar artist in their midst.
Together these important works chart the development of the idealised beauty, expressive force and sensuous use of colour that we recognise today as the hallmarks of Venetian Renaissance painting. Through portraiture, religious paintings and the nascent genre of landscapes, witness a rapid revolution in style as it unfolds in a city on the cusp of its golden age.
Friends of the RA do not need to book a time slot for this exhibition – just turn up and show your membership card along with ID.
12 March — 5 June
Saturday – Thursday 10am – 6pm
Friday 10am – 10pm
The Sackler Wing, Burlington House
£11.50 (without donation £10). Concessions available. Friends of the RA, and under 16s when with a fee-paying adult, go free.Book now
The Royal Academy has pulled off something close to a miracle… the show is superb, brilliantly presented with drama, sympathy, mounting surprises and the kind of deep scholarship that doesn’t just document art but actually loves it. It is in every respect exemplary.