"Love follows knowledge."
"Beauty above all beauty!"
– St. Catherine of Siena

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Painting: Giorgione's La Tempesta

In Mark Helprin's novel A Soldier of the Great War, the painting, La Tempesta, by the 15th century Venetian painter figures prominently.  See my post on the novel here. The painting is worth a blog of its own.  Here it is.

“In Giorgione’s painting you find very little red.  The dominant colors are green and gold: green, of course, being the color of nature, and gold the divine and tranquil color of which, like perfection, so little exists.  The painters of Giorgione’s time, by and large, spoke in these terms.  Red was the instrument with which they portrayed mortality; green, nature; gold, God.  With the notable exception scattered from painter to painter and school to school, you will find this born out subtly and simply."
                               Mark Helprin, from A Soldier of the Great War, p. 832

This is a great painting.  I love Helprin's commentary on it.  Read more commentary that I excerpted in my blogs on Helprin's novel. 


  1. Manny, what a gorgeous work of art this painting is! I'm going back to look at it for a long time and just enjoy the beauty of it.

    Many people in my family were artists and did wonderful paintings, but, alas, it skipped over me. I can do stick people though. LOL

  2. I had a History teacher in high school that regularly would put up works of art and teach us the history behind them, and things similar to Helprin's commentary. I loved it! I remember Picasso's Guernica and a few American painters like Paul Klee and and Edward Hopper. It left an impression on me.
    I also loved how Helprin worked the painting into his story.

  3. There is already a blogsite on Giorgione and the Tempest. http://giorgionetempesta.blogspot.com. There I discuss the Tempest and other works by Giorgione as well as other Venetians. I did discuss Helprin's book on one post.

    For my full interpretation of the "Tempest" as "the Rest on the Flight into Egypt" see http;//www.giorgionetempesta.com


    1. Wow, that is an excellent blog Frank. I don't have time to do it full justice tonight, but I will return to it. Thank you for stopping by.

  4. Thank you for your thoughts Jeanette and Kelly. I'm glad you liked the painting.