Exploring creativity and beauty across different media. Scholarly and journalistic. Lushly illustrated. Passionately global.
Although not as popular as Michelangelo or Leonardo Da Vinci, Vittore Carpaccio (c.1465 – 1525/1526) was an important artist of the Italian Renaissance, associated with the Venetian School of painting. A pupil of Gentile Bellini, Carpaccio is known mostly for his Biblical and legendary subjects – in particular a cycle of works on St. Ursula.
The entry on Britannica states:
Carpaccio’s precise rendering of architecture and the luminous atmosphere of his paintings were praised by the 19th-century English critic John Ruskin. Carpaccio’s panoramic depictions of pageants, processions, and other public gatherings are notable for their wealth of realistic detail, sunny colouring, and dramatic narratives. His incorporation of realistic figures into an orderly and coherent perspectival space made him a predecessor of the Venetian painters of vedute (townscapes).
One of Carpaccio’s most magnificent works is Preparation of Christ’s Tomb featuring the body of a dead Christ spread on a table in a bleak landscape. It is a morbid image, with skulls and mourners. There is an old man in the middle of the picture – Job from the Old Testament – meditating on death. Also, in a way, refusing to give up hope, stubbornly holding onto the idea that destruction cannot be final. He sits next to a tree of two branches, one barren, the other full. In the distance, one can spot a trumpet. These elements quietly signal the prospect of resurrection and invite the viewer to complete the story.
Cosmopolitan soul and King's College London + National Gallery alum (Twitter: @TulikaBahadur89) - slowly working on a novel and a collection of short stories. Say hi at email@example.com, send all professional communication, including enquiries related to art buying, to firstname.lastname@example.org. View all posts by Tulika Bahadur