Paolo Veronese was born in Verona, Italy in 1528 where is nickname, Veronese, derives from.  He trained in Verona with local painter Antonio Badile (who’s daughter he later married) and then moved to Venice in the early 1550’s (Paolo).  The colouring of renaissance artist Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) greatly influenced the work of Veronese along with the works of Jacopo Tintoretto (Venetian renaissance artist) (Paolo). From approximately 1553 Veronese was based in Venice and apart of the Venetian school (Veronese).  A great deal of his finer work was created outside of Venice in fresco.  Along with Tintoretto, Veronese became a leading figure in Venetian painting and did many secular commissions.

Veronese’s work was commissioned mostly for an international cliental; two of which were bought for the King of Spain Philip IV by Diego Velázquez (Artist and member of high office in Spain).  One of Veronese’s more controversial commissions was to decorate the Last Supper as he saw fit.  It included many irrelevant figures however was ultimately done to his liking.  The dispute was settled by change of name to Feast in the House of Levi.  It now resides in the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice (Veronese). Throughout most of his life, Veronese remained in Venice and ran his workshop that remained active even after his death in 1588, by his brother and two sons.

 

Feast in the House of Levi, Apotheosis of Venice, and Coronation of the Virgin are three works by Veronese.

The title of this piece is Feast in the House of Levi painted in 1573 in the medium of oil on canvas and resides in Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice. (Feast)

 

Feast in the House of Levi

Feast in the House of Levi

The title of this piece is Apotheosis of Venice painted in 1585 in the medium of oil on canvas and resides in Palazzo Ducale, Venice. (Apotheosis)

Apotheosis of Venice

Apotheosis of Venice

 

 

The title of this piece is Coronation of the Virgin painted in 1555 in the medium of oil on canvas and resides in San Sebastiano, Venice. (Coronation)

Coronation of the Virgin

Coronation of the Virgin

Feast in the House of Levi is a banquet scene in a grandeur setting with arches and columns surrounding remnants of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. Originally to be commissioned as a Last Supper it was later investigated by the Roman Catholic Inquisition as believed to have irreverence and offense to the religious importance that the Last Supper retains.  In conclusion its title was changed to Feast in the House of Levi.  Referring to an episode in the Gospel of Luke, Feast in the House of Levi, where Jesus is invited to a banquet that Levi has prepared, and a collection of guests are present among which are tax collectors and sinners.  The work is a landscape and was commissioned by the Dominican order of SS. Giovanni e Paolo to replace an earlier work by Titian that had been destroyed in a fire.  It is the last of grandiose “suppers” by Veronese for refectories of Venetian monasteries (Feast).

Veronese was well known for his sizeable, decorative, “pageant like” scenes that bring great tribute to Venice in its golden age.  He used a great deal of marble columns, costumes, velvet and satin in correlation with a delicate pallet of pale blue, orange, silvery white, and lemon yellow (Veronese).  He was well known for scenes of feasts from the bible.  Veronese frames the scene in Feast in the House of Levi, with great arches and columns providing scale.  With the setting being in an open portico, the buildings in the backdrop help to specify depth.  Your eye is drawn to Jesus as the light colored tablecloth stands out against the rich pallet retaining its religious meaning.  The various poses and gestures of the characters apply a certain proportion and balance as well (Feast).

            The religious meaning and use of canvas as a medium, along with the richness of color in its creation all play into the characteristics of Venetian art of the time.

Perspective was very important and the depth, proportion, scale etc. were all predominant features of Veronese’s Feast in the House of Levi.  Veronese used color to create richness and light, which was a central Renaissance characteristic.  Innovative for the time, Veronese used mannerism in its use of light and color to achieve drama.  Oil on canvas as a medium in large-scale format achieved many great feats in allowing Veronese to become one of the greatest decorative artists of Venetian Renaissance art.

Works Cited:

“Apotheosis of Venice by VERONESE, Paolo.” Web Galley of Art. N.p., n.d. Web. 10

Aug. 2013.

“Coronation of the Virgin by VERONESE, Paolo.” Web Gallery of Art. N.p., n.d. Web.

10 Aug. 2013.

“Feast in the House of Levi by VERONESE, Paolo.” Web Gallery of Art. N.p., n.d. Web.

10 Aug. 2013.

“Paolo Veronese.” The National Gallery, London: Western European Painting 1250–

1900. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Aug. 2013.

“The Renaissance in Venice – Art History 101 Basics.” About.com Art History. N.p., n.d.

Web. 10 Aug. 2013.

“Veronese, Paolo” The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists. Ed Ian Chilvers. Oxford

University Press 2009 Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.

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