Artibus et Historiae no. 30 (XV)

1994, ISSN 0391-9064

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DAN LETTIERI - Lanscape And Lyricism In Giorgione's Tempesta

Giorgione's Tempesta represents a positive meditation on the theme of unrequited love, inspired chiefly by Jacopo Sannazaro's Arcadia but also by the songs, sonnets and strambotti of other writers composing in emulation of Petrarch. The foreground reveals a melancholy poet, rejected by his beloved, and Mother Earth, mythic anima of the landscape, who consoles him in a dream. And the landscape itself, alive with multivalent, associative metaphors, expresses the thoughts and emotions stirring in the protagonist - a device essential to Petrarchan lyricism but wholly foreign to the humanistic theory of painting, Ut picture poesis, which requires pose, gesture and facial expression for the communication of psychological values. To recognize these lyrical mechanism in Giorgione's poetics is to explain why his imagery has resisted interpretation and to grasp the true dimensions of his achievement in the Tempesta.

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