“Storm (Thunderstorm)”, Giorgione – description of the painting

Description of the picture:

Storm (Thunderstorm) – Giorgione. Around 1508. Oil on canvas. 82 x 73 cm
It is hard to imagine a more mysterious picture of Giorgione than "Storm" ("Storm") And the matter does not even concern the performance subtleties – scientists so far have not come to the same view of the storyline of the work.

What, nevertheless, do we see in the picture of a great artist belonging to the era of the Highest Renaissance? Before us is a traditional idyllic landscape – a river over which a high bridge rises, a lot of greenery and trees, the ruins of the building. The weather is turbulent. The disheveled crowns of the trees indicate a raging wind, and a bright, short lightning pierced the sky in the background.

The characters in the picture raise many questions, because it is very difficult to trace the relationship between them. An almost naked woman is placed on the right side of the canvas. She is breastfeeding a baby in a rather elaborate pose. On the left side we notice a man. Either this is a soldier, or a shepherd, opinions were expressed that this was a bachelor or even a gypsy. He pays no attention to the woman.

Despite the intriguing heroes, the landscape dominates the characters – nature here comes first. Giorgione managed to catch the subtlest atmosphere of nature before a thunderstorm, when the colors sharpen, and daylight has a special character.

Over its long history, the canvas changed its name a couple of times. In 1530, when Giorgione had been dead for 20 years, the Venetian writer and patrician Mark Mikiel mentioned the painting as "Landscape on canvas with a thunderstorm, gypsy and a soldier". For a long time the work was known as "Giorgione family".

There are no specific plot clues, which is why there are so many interpretations. Someone sees in the picture an image of one of the scenes "Thebaids" Station, others claim that this is a Greek myth about Paris, which was given to a shepherd to raise, or myths about Aphrodite and Adonis, or the Birth of Apollo. Others attribute almost mystical symbolism to the work: as if the picture depicts encrypted occult images. Another group of critics sees metaphysical symbolism in the work (for example, a naked girl – a symbol of purity, breastfeeding – a symbol of fertility). In total, there are about 20 interpretations today.

In 1939, everything became even more confusing. Scientists gathered to take an x-ray, and on the resulting negativity, you can clearly see that instead of a male figure, once another naked woman was depicted on the canvas. Then the simplest view of Giorgione’s creation appeared – the picture doesn’t have a plot, but it simply depicts a landscape supplemented by people. Since that time, the painting has been called The Tempest, and Russian-language literature refers to Giorgione’s work as The Storm."

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