Leonardo, Giorgione, Titian

Leonardo da Vinci, Portrait of a woman ("La belle ferronière"), Paris, Louvre


The latest volume of the excellent journal Artibus et Historiae includes an extended article by yours truly on Leonardo da Vinci’s signficance for the art of Giorgione and Titian. And much-debated, but still vaguely defined topic in connection with Giorgione and, by contrast, little-discussed in relation to Titian, I think Leonardo’s art is a particularly rich key to understanding aspects of both artist’s creativity.

The article has a rather long and slightly tedious history. It started life as a paper given at a conference on the significance of Florentine art in other parts of Italy held in Lausanne in 2012, organised by my friend Chris Fischer and professor of art history in that city Nicholas Bock. It was originally written out to be published in a proceedings that never happened and then say in my virtual desk drawer for years, out of sight, but never entirely out of mind, as I updated it with new literature and thoughts occasionally as it came to me. The lockdown period came and seemed like an oppotune moment to extract it, dust it off and submit it.

So, it is not exactly my scholarship of ten years ago preserved in amber, but something like that. Not everything in it reflects my thinking today, but I found it sufficiently worthwhile as is not to attempt a thorough rewrite. It was, from the begnning, much influenced by my teacher at Columbia University 2002-4, David Rosand, who sadly passed away in 2014. It is therefore dedicated to his memory.

Find it in Artibus no. 84 (2021), pp. 115-47.

Giorgione, Portrait of a old woman ("La vecchia"), Venice, Accademia

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