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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Giorgione was among the first of the pure painters in the modern arts in history and his works have been regarded to have surpassed those of his contemporaries because of his ability to use art to depict the unity of poetry and naturalness.

The painting depicts a singer whose face is full of emotions. The painter did this masterpiece circa 1510 during the Renaissance period. The attribution of this particular painting to Giorgione is under debate with some commentators linking it to Domenico Capriolo and other commentators believe that this painting was executed just after Giorgione’s demise. The young man seemingly expresses his emotions through singing with an air of baroque pathos. The location of this masterpiece is clearly brought to life by the chiaroscuro effects surrounding it.

Giorgione makes use of intricate brushworks that effectively help him convey the singer’s mood and express his passion for singing. The use of light, colour and the atmosphere surrounding the singe in the portrait that helped him to this composition a distinctive character. There is evident use of lyricism and monumentality which involved layering complementary colours from a very simple palette. This saw him utilise gradual shades of colours to depict the element of light, often known as chiaroscuro. The technique went a long way in adding character. The materials used were oil-based paints on canvas.

His career took shape at a time when Renaissance was in full flow but at the same time Italy was in constant wars in the provinces. Artists like Filippo Brunelleschi, Donatello, The Bellini brothers, Filippino Lippi and Lorenzo Ghiberti played a crucial role in the growth of Renaissance period of art. Giorgione derived great inspiration and influence from Giovanni Bellini and Leonardo Da Vinci. Giorgione was an apprentice of Giovanni Bellini where he laid a firm foundation in his painting career. Giorgione's landscapes in his later years were quite similar to those produced by the former years of Bellini.

It gave his paintings a fresh breathe of life especially how nature was viewed through paintings. Giorgione met Da Vinci later in his career and some scholars say that this meeting profoundly influenced Giorgione’s painting techniques. In his wake, Giorgione had left a huge impact on modern art painters and his influence is still felt to date. Some of the great painters he influenced include Palma Vecchio, Nicolas Poussin, Paris Bordon, Sebastiano del Piombo and Lorenzo Lotto and movements like The Baroque, Impressionism and High Renaissance.