The Tempest (Giorgione)
Date ca. 1505
Movement High Renaissance
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 31.25 x 28.75″
Housed at Galleria dell’Accademia, Venice
This work was commissioned by Gabriele Vendramin. Giorgione depicts a palpably humid evening by employing thick sfumato; while the foreground lends a sense of tranquility, the rolling thunder clouds and lighting in the backdrop impose a sense of energy and foreboding.
Scholars have long debated the identities of the figures; the male may be a shepherd, a warrior, or an angel; the female may be Venus, Eve, Hagar, or even Nature; likewise, the meaning of the work has remained illusive – we are not sure if this piece is depicting a narrative, or is perhaps meant only to convey a particular mood.