Veronese is one of Renaissance Venice’s greats

Veronese is one of Renaissance Venice’s greats
Paolo Calieri, who chose to be known as Paolo Veronese to indicate that he came from Verona, is one of the most significant, influential and beautiful painters of the Venetian Renaissance. Not really a wonder that National Gallery in London has decided to host a show called Veronese: Magnificence in Renaissance Venice, scheduled to take place between March 19 and June 15, 2014.

The National Gallery states that it is “the first monographic show on the artist to be held in the United Kingdom”. In their press note, it mentions Veronese as one of the “great trio that dominated Venetian paintings of the 16th century late Renaissance”. Veronese seems to have lost out in comparison to some of the more famous Italian painters who preceded him — Tintoretto was senior to him by a decade and Titian is said to be at least a “generation older”. One might say it was only after Tintoretto passed away that Veronese came into his own.

With Tintoretto’s death, Veronese became the undoubted leader among painters in Venice. At the time, artists in Europe were involved with the trend, known as mannerist art. This style is notable for its “intellectual sophistication as well as its artificial (as opposed to naturalistic) qualities”. Veronese was initially inclined towards this style that had Italy in its throes for about 60 years between 1520 and 1580, but he gradually moved towards, “a more naturalist style influenced by Titian”.

Considered the undisputed leader among Venetian artists in painting ceilings, Veronese’s most acclaimed artworks are dramatic and “full of majestic architectural settings and glittering pageantry”. At the monasteries in his hometown Verona and in Venice, one can see his huge paintings of biblical subjects, including feasts full of figures and marvel at the “magnificence of his spectacle”. The painting, The Conversion of Mary Magdalene, painted in 1548 and owned by the National Gallery, is a perfect example of Veronese’s unique style.

Veronese is also appreciated for “the chromatic brilliance of his palette” and has often been referred to as a “supreme colourist”. To fully appreciate this comment, one only needs to glance at the skin tone and elegance of the drapery and garments worn by the subjects in his paintings and acknowledge that Veronese achieves more than most, by showing us not just colour, but also texture and form. His painting, Portrait of a Lady, known as the Bella Nani, is a perfect example of “the splendour and sensibility of his brushwork”.

With the upcoming exhibition, art lovers will have the opportunity to view at least 50 of Veronese’s creations under one roof. Besides the 10 paintings in National Gallery’s collection, his major works were also gotten on on loan from European and American museums. Among these is an interesting series of four paintings, with each concentrating on a specific aspect — Unfaithfulness, Scorn, Respect and Happy Union.

One might hope that after this splendid effort to display the work of this talented artist, the world will sit up and give Veronese his due and join the list of admirers who recognised his genius, including some of the world’s greatest artists — Rubens, Watteau, Tiepolo, Delacroix and Renoir.

(The writer is an author and a former art gallery owner)

Post new comment

E-mail ID will not be published
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

EDITORIAL OF THE DAY

  • The current value of the rupee does not merit market intervention

    The rupee, losing 40 paise per month against the dollar since May, is expected to remain under pressure till the calendar runs out on December 31, bef

FC NEWSLETTER

Stay informed on our latest news!

INTERVIEWS

GV Nageswara Rao

MD & CEO, IDBI Federal Life

Timothy Moe

Goldman Sachs

Chander Mohan Sethi

CMD, Reckitt Benckiser India

COLUMNIST

Tushar Gandhi

Sustainable model for rural sanitation

Prime minister Narendra Modi has promised to build a toilet ...

Zehra Naqvi

How smells evoke strong memories

Remember that time when a passing fragrance transported you to ...

Dharmendra Khandal

Indian zoos need a fresh approach

Recently, when a man jumped in a tiger trench of ...

INTERVIEWS

William D. Green

Chairman & CEO, Accenture