Giorgione's Sleeping Venus.
Giorgio Barbarelli da Castelfranco 1477-1510
Giorgione's Sleeping Venus.
Giorgione's Sleeping Venus circa 1510.
About the painting.
The Sleeping Venus, also known as the Dresden Venus is displayed at Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, it is an oil on canvas and measures 108.50cm's in height and 175.00cms in length.
It's one of the last works of Giorgio Barbarelli da Castelfranco, and one of the first female reclining nudes in European painting of the time. Giorgione's Sleeping Venus portrays a young naked female sleeping peacefully, oblivious to the gaze of others. Her slender profile appears also to follow the contours of the landscape and hills behind.
Starting the Art revolution.
The choice to portray a naked female marked a revolution in art and is considered by some authorities to be one of, if not the starting point of modern art.
Giorgione put a great deal of effort into painting the background details and shadows. However, it's believed that the painting was left unfinished by him at the time. This being down to his untimely death from the plague in 1510 as Giorgione passed at the age of thirty-three. This would result in the incomplete landscape including the sky needing finishing by another famous renaissance artist. The name of the artist being Tiziano Vecelli or Tiziano Vecellio known to most art scholars as Titian.Possibly the greatest Venetian artist of the sixteenth century.
Giorgiones famous assistant.
Titian was a friend and colleague to Giorgione after joining him 1507 at his workshop as an assistant who would later go on to paint a similar reclining nude titled Venus of Urbino Which now hangs in the Uffuzi art gallery in Florence in the region of Tuscany, Italy.
The erotic implications of the Sleeping Venus.
In Giorgiones venus there are underlying erotic implications, Venus's raised arm, opening her body up implying a sensual feminine demeaner. Also by raising it she is fully exposing her breasts which appear to be full and rounded. Her pert nipples are visible implying a certain sense of arousal. The subtle placement of her left hand over her groin that descretely covers what lies beneath. Or alternatively could it be suggesting something entirely different? Is this just a brilliant depiction of a beautiful young naked female sleeping or is it something else.
By the way the drapery's depicted it could suggest a romantic liaison. Implying perhaps, that our subject is in fact actually basking in the afterglow of her encounter? This could also be the reason why her left hand's positioned so discreetly by Giorgione.
I say this as the way the drapery's depicted its suggestive of movement. As if it had been led upon and then rucked up as her lover left while she slept. It appears bunched and rigid as if intentionally pushed up into Venus's relaxed body. Her body position also suggests that she's not quite on the sheets but more to one side of them. Again suggesting movement as her left foot appears to be resting on the grass. Thus reinforcing the idea. The sheets on which she lays are also painted in silver which is a cold colour instead of the more commonly used warm tones for linens. Unlike the more softer flowing looking sheets depicted in similar paintings by Titian or Velázquez. Mainly owing to the movement and stickiness of their bodies.
Giorgiones Sleeping Venus s close up study.