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Giorgione's Tempest, Studiolo Culture, and the Renaissance Lucretius*

  • Stephen J. Campbell (a1)

Abstract

The invention of Giorgione's much-interpreted painting known as The Tempest can be explained with reference to the De rerum natura of Lucretius. Lucretius provides the essential connection between the main elements of the painting: a male 'wanderer,' a lightning bolt, broken columns, a naked, nursing female, and a landscape rendered according to momentary, fleeting appearances. The invention of the painting also responds to the way Lucretius was read around 1500, to the specific interests of the poet's Renaissance readers and imitators, and to forms of self-cultivation associated with the ownership of a studiolo.

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I would like to thank Jaynie Anderson, Shane Butler, and Ann Kuttner for their invaluable help with this project.

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References

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Giorgione's Tempest, Studiolo Culture, and the Renaissance Lucretius*

  • Stephen J. Campbell (a1)

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