Giorgione or Giorgio Barbarelli da Castelfranco was born in 1477 or 1478 in Castelfranco. He probably studied art under Giovanni Bellini. Although only some 20 paintings are generally associated with him, of which only about six are attributed to him without doubt, his originality was so powerful that these few works have come to represent not only the first stage in the Venice High Renaissance, but a new trend in Italian art as well. Surviving documentation of his life and work is sparse. He was associated with the humanist circle of the poet Bembo, and with a sophisticated group of private patrons, for whom he painted generally small-scale pictures. Giorgione's only public commission in Venice were paintings, now lost, in the Doge's palace, and frescoes, which are now almost completely destroyed by nature, on the exterior of the Fondaco sei Tedeschi, an important trading center, in Venice. The frescoes were painted with the assistance of Titian, who was working in Giorgione's workshop at the time. Among his best surviving works are Judith (c.1504), Castelfranco Madonna (c.1506), The Three Philosophers (c.1508), Sleeping Venus (c.1508) which were the inspiration for many more female nudes, particularly by Titian, and The Tempest (c.1510), the most famous of his works. The authorship of some of his works was disputed for years. The Concert Champetre (c.1510-1511) is still considered by some sources to be painted by Giorgione and not by Titian. Girgione died untimely in his early thirties of plague during the outbreak of this lethal disease in Venice in 1510.
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Giorgione by Terisio Pignatti, Filippo Pedrocco. Rizzoli, 1999.
Giorgione by Jaynie Anderson. Flammarion, 1997.
Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, and the Renaissance of Venetian Painting by David Alan Brown, Sylvia Ferino-Pagden. Yale University Press, 2006.
Giorgione's Tempest: Interpreting the Hidden Subject by Salvatore Settis, Ellen Bianchini. University Of Chicago Press, 1994.
Giorgione by Mauro Lucco. Gallimard, 1997.
Giorgione: Myth and Enigma by Sylvia Ferino-Pagden, Giovanna Nepi Scire, Charles Hope, Augusto Gentili. Skira, 2004.