The Renaissance in Venice: c. 1400-1585

Petrarch called Venice a “mundus alter”—another world. Here Bellini, Giorgione, and Titian made art as brilliant as the light that plays off the city’s canals. Venetian painters pursued innovative compositional approaches and introduced new subjects, such as landscape and the female nude. In the Late Renaissance, Titian’s mastery was rivaled by Tintoretto and Veronese. Each attempted to out-paint the other with increasingly dynamic and sensual subjects for local churches and international patrons.



10 inches—that’s how far Venice has sunk. As sea levels and tourism rise, can this historic city survive?

Saving Venice







Oil paint in Venice
Their island climate didn’t suit fresco, so the Venetians tried oils instead—these paints blend when wet.

Oil paint in Venice






Andrea Mantegna, Dead Christ, tempera on canvas, c. 1480 - 1500 (Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan) - detail
Mantegna was fascinated by perspective. His radical foreshortening and realism focus attention on Christ’s wounds.

Andrea Mantegna, Dead Christ







Giorgione, The Tempest, c. 1506-8 (Accademia) - detail
In the distance, lightning strikes. What does it mean? Poetic and evocative, this painting invites interpretation.

Giorgione, The Tempest



Giorgione The Three Philosophers detail
These three learned men differ in age, outlook, and dress. But do they represent religions, eras, or philosophies?

Giorgione, Three Philosophers