IL VERONESE BIOGRAPHY
Paolo Caliari was born in Verona, hence the name Veronese, in 1528.
He spent most of his life in Venice and in neighbouring areas of the Serenissima, where he carried out his activity.
His artistic growth takes place in his hometown and is fully achieved in the Badile Workshop under the guidance of Masters such as Zelotti, Fasolo, Farinati and Bruciasorci and is oriented towards the chromatic innovations that spread through Venice.
Already famous for decorating some villas, an example is the villa Soranzo in Treviso sadly destroyed, where the artist portrays false architectural elements, stuccoes and mythological figures full of unexpected perspective views, in 1553 he went to work at Palazzo Ducale in Venice.
Here, together with Zelotti, he is commissioned to paint allegorical canvases for the three Halls of the Palace. He decorates the ceilings of the Halls of the Consiglio dei Dieci and of the Tre Capi del Consiglio in the Palazzo Ducale, through which he expresses his clear and serene art. These canvases represent Juno showering gifts on Venice, Youth and Old Age, etc., Works in which the artist’s style appears perfectly defined: an amply decorative painting filled with marvellous colour combinations as well as a great sense of spatial values.
Other elements are embedded in his art: Parmigianino’s Mannerist style and Giulio Romano’s impressive knowledge of the human body, elements belonging to Emilian, Brescian and those of Roman and Mantuan paintings. In 1555 he settled in Venice to work on the decorations of the Church of San Sebastiano and will remain until 1570 due to the various structural work needed on the church ceiling and the entire decoration of the temple. In addition, between 1557 and 1566 he paints numerous cycles of Frescoes: we find some pieces in the Palladian Basilica of Villa Barbaro Maser, with paintings that cover the walls thus constituting one of the most extensive and extraordinary pictorial cycles of the artist. Veronese, in fact, imagines a decoration that can create new architectural spaces, thus expanding the space that will then turn out much brighter and erase the physical limits of the walls.
Around 1560 he was commissioned numerous frescoes with religious and profane subjects, while later on he composed a spectacular creation for the Church of San Zinopolo: the Last Supper, later renamed Dinner at Levi’s home, as it was believed that some figures diminished the mystical meaning of the sacred event.
The following years are the highlight of Veronese’s great success thanks to the creation of works such as: The Martyrdom of Santa Giustina, placed in the Church of the Saint in Padua, the Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine. During the same period he was also decorating the ceiling of the Palazzo Ducale with “Venice that Greets Giustina and Peace”.
Among the last works of the artist is a series of paintings made for the Church of San Niccolò dei Frari, always in Venice, which find different locations after its destruction; there is also the great oval with the Triumph of Venice located in the Hall of the Maggior Consiglio in the Palazzo Ducale, the Dead Christ of St. Petersburg and the Miracle of Saint Pantaleon located in the same Venetian Church.
Veronese died April 9, 1588.
In the history of art this Master has been an extraordinary innovator: he elevated the spirit of the city through his painting that stands out for what he himself describes as a timbre colour, in other words vibrant, bright and contrasting colours.
This chromatism highlights the clear light by disregarding the overall colours to enhance the tones. It also shows how the painter has founded his own art based on shades and differences of colour. Veronese’s Artwork stands out for its pronounced decorative sense: in the relation between painting and architectural ensemble, he decides to create a lot of bright and chiaroscuro effects through the colouring full of light and harmony, sometimes not completely faithful to reality.