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The Venetian School
1450-1620
venetian arts

(example of  Venation school style of painting through the ages)

The Venetian School of Art can be divided into three parts: the first begins with Jacopo Bellini, and this part might be referred to as the budding period. The second is the flowering period, and the palm is carried by Gian Bellini. The period of ripe fruit--overripe fruit, touched by the tint of death--is represented by four men: Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto and Paul Veronese. The Venetian painters were famous for their dazzling use of color and this what set them apart from the other great art cities of Italy. John Ruskin, famous art historian asserted "the Venetians are separate from other schools by rightness, and they are so to their last days. Venetian painting is in this matter always right. But also, in their early days, the colorists are separated from other schools by their contentment with tranquil cheerfulness of light: by their never wanting to be dazzled. None of their lights are flashing or blinding; they are soft, winning, precious; lights of pearl, not of lime: only, you know, on this condition they cannot have sunshine: their day is the day of Paradise; they need no candle, neither light of the sun, in their cities; and everything is seen clear, as through crystal, far or near."




The Venetian architecture and art was noticeably influenced by Byzantine style painting. Although Venetian painting lacked the religious devotional sentiment of the Byzantine school. The Venetian style is a blend of Gothic and Byzantine with a dash of the Sienese School. According to Renaissance scholar John C. Van Dyke "It was at Venice and with the Venetian painters of the sixteenth century that a new art-motive was finally and fully adopted. This art-motive was not religion. For though the religious subject was still largely used, the religious or pietistic belief was not with the Venetians any more than with Correggio. It was not a classic, antique, realistic, or naturalistic motive. The Venetians were interested in all phases of nature, and they were students of nature, but not students of truth for truth's sake."



Venetian Painters differed from Florantine painters in many ways.
According to Art Historian, Evelyn March Phillipps "The painters of Venice were of the people and had no wide intellectual outlook at its most splendid moment, such as was possessed by those men who in Florence were drawn into the company of the Medici and their court of scholars, and who all their lives were in the midst of a society of large aims and a free public spirit, in which men took their share of the responsibilities and honours of a citizen’s life. The merchant-patrons of Venice are quite uninterested in the solving of problems. They pay a price, and they want a good show of colour and gilding for their money. Presently they buy from outside, and a half-hearted imitation of foreigners is the best ambition of Venetian artists. Art, it has been said, does not declare itself with true spontaneity till it feels behind it the weight and unanimity of the whole body of the people. That true outburst was long in coming, but its seeds were fructifying deep in a congenial soil. They were fostered by the warmth and colour of Oriental intercourse, and at last the racial instinct speaks with no uncertain accent in the great domain of art, and speaks in a new and unexpected way; as splendid as, yet utterly unlike, the grand intellectual declaration of Florence.
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Evelyn March Phillipps further states" Venice in all her history, in all her character, is Eastern rather than Western. Hers is the kingdom of feeling rather than that of thought, of emotion as opposed to intellect. Her whole story tells of a profoundly emotional and sensuous apprehension of the nature of things; and till the time comes when her artists are inspired to express that, their creations may be interesting enough, but they fail to reveal the true workings of her mind. When they do, they find a new medium and use it in a new way. Venetian colour, when it comes into its kingdom, speaks for a whole people, sensuous and of deep feeling, able for the first time to utter itself in art."


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Important Words, People, Phrases, Characteristics related to the Italian Renaissance Art Movement - rebirth, rediscovery of the classical world, City-state, Humanism, Humanist, Francesco Petrarch, Reform, The Prince, Theocracy, The Inquisition, Human Reasoning, Medici Academy, publication of Della Pittura, a book about the laws of mathematical perspective for artists, sfumato, chiaroscuro, linear perspectiveHeliocentric Theory, Petrarch, Baldassare Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier, liberal arts, civic humanism, Verrocchio, secularism, Leonardo Bruni, Lorenzo Valla, Neo-Platonism, nominalism, Giotto, Masaccio, Botticelli, Quattrocento, vanishing point, Savonarola, oligarchy spiritually significant,  illuminated manuscript idealized biblical themes, scriptorium, emotion, illuminator,  iconoclast,  Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci,  Age of Discovery, axonometric drawing, curiosity about the natural world, mythology,  realistic use of colours and light Bonfire of the Vanities, Old Testament stories, ethereal and foggy backgrounds, Gospel parablesThe Blackdeath, romanticized landscapes,  Christian symbolism. Paradise

A List of the Greatest painters of the Venetian School

Titian 1485-1576

El Greco 1541-1614

Paolo Veronese - 1528 - 1588

Canaletto 1697-1768

Giorgione 1477 - 1510

Giovanni Bellini 1430-1516

Jacob Tintoretto 1519 - 1594

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REF. The Venetian School of Painting  by Evelyn March Phillipps
HISTORY OF PAINTING by John C. Van Dyke