Giorgione Biography

Early Life

Giorgione, whose full name was Giorgio Barbarelli da Castelfranco, was born around 1477-78 in the small town of Castelfranco Veneto, near Venice, Italy. There is little known about his early life, but it is widely accepted that he was of humble origin. His nickname “Giorgione,” meaning “Tall George,” was given to him most likely due to his imposing height.


In Venice, Giorgione was apprenticed to the famous painter, Giovanni Bellini, who was one of the greatest Italian Renaissance artists of the time. Under Bellini, Giorgione mastered the use of color, light, and shade techniques. Bellini was a significant influence on the young artist’s style, helping him transition from the gothic style to the more recent introductions of Leonardo da Vinci’s work.


Giorgione was deeply influenced by his time in Venice, a city of great artistic activity during his lifetime. As earlier mentioned, his teacher, Giovanni Bellini, was a significant influence. However, Giorgione developed a distinctive style, applying what he learned from Bellini while incorporating influences from various external sources. This includes the work of Leonardo Da Vinci, whose explorations of atmosphere and light impacted Giorgione significantly. His works also displayed a sensitivity to nature, a characteristic of the emerging Venetian school of painting.

Major Artwork

Giorgione is known for his development of the “pittura di maniera,” a technique featuring soft, blurred lines, atmospheric effects, and evocative landscapes. Some of his most significant works include “The Tempest,” widely considered as the first landscape painting in Western art history, and “Sleeping Venus,” one of the first truly reclining nudes. His work “The Three Philosophers” is another famous painting that exhibits his mastery of light and atmospheric effects.

Though Giorgione’s oeuvre is relatively small, largely due to his early death (around the age of 33), the influence of his innovative techniques garnered him the title “the father of Venetian painting.”

Art Movements

Giorgione was a central figure of the Venetian High Renaissance, a movement that emphasized color and atmosphere in art. This movement deviated from the formal balances, clear outlines, and anatomical correctness of the typical Italian art style of the time. Giorgione, alongside another Venetian artist, Titian, was instrumental in establishing this new aesthetic, which influenced the subsequent development of Western painting.


Though Giorgione’s life was short, his influence on the art world was significant. His innovative techniques, particularly concerning color and lighting, strong atmospheric content, and poetic-allegorical subjects, set the stage for the future of Venetian painting. His works were deeply emotional and mysterious, often leaving audiences to interpret their meanings. Despite his untimely death, Giorgione’s impact on the art world is remembered and continues to be studied today.

All Giorgione Artwork on 30 Art

Artwork Name Year Medium
Globe, moon, sun (astronomy) 1510 fresco
Homage to a poet oil,panel
Judith 1504 oil,canvas
Madonna and Child in a Landscape 1504 oil,canvas
Madonna and Child with Saints Liberale and Francis (The Castelfranco Madonna) 1505 oil,panel