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Paolo
Veneziano

Italia 
born in 1300
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One of the first notable Venetian artists and is often considered as one of the founders of the independent Venetian art school.

Born into a family of artists. He worked together with his sons Marco, Luca, and Giovanni. Was the official artist of the Doge Andrea Dandolo. May have been the teacher of Lorenzo Veneziano. The first known work signed by Paolo Veneziano, under the year 1333, the latter — together with his son Giovanni under the year 1358.

The work of Paolo Veneziano has obvious traits inherited from Byzantine painting, including the gold background and color variety characteristic of modern (e.g., Giotto) and the later Italian schools of painting.

This artist, who played a leading role in the art of the first half of the XIV century in Venice and was at the forefront of Venetian painting, was a person original, complex and in many respects contradictory. Characteristic features of many of his works, which, despite different opinions, all belong to the early phase of the master, show that pronounced Byzantinism Paolo is associated with the heyday of the "Greek manner", penetrated to Venice in the first half of the century together with the high culture of Palaeologus, and for a long time considered as the hallmark of "master Paulo" - in fact appeared only in the more Mature period of his work. Thus, the first steps of an artist was considered more "Western" stylistic forms, which reflected the artistic innovations of Giotto, but revised subsequently by the school of Rimini, which has a special plastic and a decorative feeling, rising from the Romanesque art. These forms, barely visible in the scenic parts of the carved altar TS. Sandanata in Murano (1310), clearly manifested in the altar the image of the "History of St. Lion Bembo" (1321 now - TS. San Biagio in Dignano). Lively vigorous modeling, vibrating color, characterized by acute observation and a rather good looking looking, the composition of the altar to fully demonstrate this "Western" style. Then the art of Paolo included in the eclectic phase, imbued with the spirit of both the West and East. This period is noted for such works as "Coronation of Mary" (1324, Washington, NAT. Gal.), shutters of triptych St. Clara with images of saints (1328-1330, Trieste, Munich), "Madonna and donators" (Venice, Gal. Academy), which, along with the Byzantine purely schematic, there are elements of the Gothic style, such as linear rhythm and the broad, monumental manner of the image, and the "Altar of St. Lucia" (Vella, bishopric), where the Byzantine motifs treated in a more dynamic and descriptive.

Only at the beginning of the fourth decade of the XIV century Paolo exempt from this "romanized of Byzantinism" (in the words Pallucchini). His first signature work, Dating from 1333, - "assumption of Mary" (the Central part of the polyptych, which was formerly located in TS. San Vincenzo in Venice and a fragment of which is now kept in the City Museum Vicenza) - indicates that the final introduction of the artist to the neo-Greek art of the Palaeologus. In this work, more recently, researchers considered the only Mature work of a master, the Byzantine formulas do not exclude, however, certain mannerisms and exquisite expressiveness of simple entities, which is characteristic of the Gothic style. The same characteristics are inherent in a series of small portable polyptych, made by probably the workshop of Paolo (Parma, NAT. Gal.; Worcester Art Museum; Washington, NAT. Gal.; Avignon, the Petit Palais) and a larger polyptych from the Tbilisi Museum, which, most probably, to the 1340-m. Another important work of the artist is the "virgin and child" (1340, private collection). So, Paolo is becoming one of the leading Venetian masters. Its recognition is evidenced by the official orders of the Doge Andrea Dandolo at work in the Palazzo Ducale and the Basilica of San Marco.

In the future, Paolo often worked with his sons. Such a family collaboration was not at all peculiar to Venetian art. The first such work, dated 22 April 1345 and signed Paolo and his sons Luca and Giovanni, became the altar of the "Pala feriale", named so because on weekdays, it replaced the "Pala d 0ро" San Marco, intended for special occasions. Unity of expressive means does not recognize the participation of each artist in creating this work. Perhaps a great "scenes from the life of St. Mark," written in Emilian taste and its abundance of architectural elements contrast with the Byzantine conservatism of other parts of the altar, was executed by one of the sons Paolo. But this hypothesis is too unreliable, since the early work of Paolo was a similar solution. The same can be said of the two panels illustrating episodes from the life of St Nicholas (Florence, Palazzo Pitti, the gift of Continiously). Probably these works are the fragment of an altar, performed Paolo in 1346 for the Palazzo Ducale and of the deceased during the fire of 1483. The "Madonna" of C. in Carpineti (1347) and a three-storied polyptych of C. San Giacomo in Bologna (which proves the Association of the master with this city) is clearly traced Gothic features. In some compositions of the polyptych (for example, "the Battle of St. George with the dragon"), the artist achieves a perfection of expression and craftsmanship. The liveliness of the narrative, the characters of the saints depicted a quick, excited strokes and in accordance with the iconographic scheme, which has become traditional for all subsequent work Paolo, this book is similar to the polyptych of Chioggia, Dating back to 1348 (oratory of San Martino; in the restoration of the polyptych there have been placed panels originating from different ensembles). By mid-century in the works of Paolo are increasing traits of Byzantinism, which indicates the journey of the master in Constantinople. Confirmation of this hypothesis is also a "Polyptych of St. Francis and St. Clara" (Venice, Gal. Academy). The Byzantine rhythm of the composition and an Eastern-like luxurious decor combined with elements of "Western" style and character of the Bologna art. This original neobyzantine you can see in the polyptych of the Board Pirano ("Madonna and child with eight saints", 1354; formerly attributed to the Master of Piano).

The growth in the number of orders the artist increasingly had to turn to a more easy academic formulas, which resulted in the weakening of his ingenuity. This is evident in the polyptych from the convent of Sant Eufemia in Gharb and in the polyptych in the Louvre. But in the polyptych of San Severino (the Pinacoteca), recently assigned Paolo, devoid of flexibility and almost abstract "Greek manner" still stands out against Gothic mannerisms, refined styling and accentuate the elegance of some of the images. The work ^of the artist completes the "Coronation of Mary" (new York, Frick collection), Dating back to 1358 and signed Paolo and his son Giovanni. This work is a true masterpiece of Gothic depth of breathing, bright and brilliant colors and a beautiful harmonious style. Combining his original vision of East and West, Paolo Veneziano marks the first stage in the development of Venetian painting.

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